Tax Guide for Beer Brewers and Distributors

New Information

Beginning January 1, 2024, there are several changes to the Alcoholic Beverage Tax Program, Senate Bill 388 [Stats. 2023, ch. 214] including:

  • Beginning with the January 2024 returns, any information contained in beer manufacturer returns and supplemental schedules, including names and addresses, must be made public upon request. The names and addresses of natural persons (such as sole proprietors, among others) will be redacted.
  • Taxpayers may elect to prohibit the disclosure of the information contained in their beer manufacturer return and accompanying schedules. The beer manufacturer return will be updated to include additional and historical information about this change and a designated checkbox where the taxpayer may elect to opt-out public disclosure. If taxpayers elect to opt-out, this must be done for each beer manufacturer return filed. Specifically, please be aware that using the opt-out checkbox to prohibit the public disclosure of one beer manufacturer return does not prohibit the public disclosure of future beer manufacturer returns.

Please continue to check back for more updates to our website. We will send notices to affected account holders soon.

California has the largest number of craft breweries in the United States and that number is increasing every year. We recognize that understanding and dealing with tax issues related to the brewing industry can be time-consuming and we want to help you get the information you need so you can spend more time focusing on your business.

We created this guide with topics important to your business to help you better understand your sales, use, and alcoholic beverage tax obligations.

How to Use This Guide

Each section of this guide contains information important to your business. The Getting Started section provides key resources related to registration, filing returns, account maintenance, required licenses, and other important topics.

The Ingredients section provides guidance on the sales and use tax application to items used in brewing beer.

The Industry Topics section covers many topics in an at-a-glance format that can be expanded to provide more extensive information.

Lastly, the Resources section provides links to a wealth of information, including web-based seminars, forms and publications, statutory and regulatory information, and access to live help from our customer service representatives.

Get It in Writing

Please note that the information included in this guide is general in nature and is not intended to replace any law or regulation. We understand our tax and fee laws can be complex, and we encourage you to send your specific tax or fee questions to us in writing. This will enable the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration to give you the best advice and will help protect you from tax, penalties, and interest in case the information turns out to be erroneous.

To request written advice, please complete and submit the General, Non-Confidential Tax Questions Form online. For more details on how to request written advice, please see publication 8, Get It in Writing!

If You Need Help

If at any time you need assistance with topics included in this guide – or with topics not included – feel free to contact us by telephone or email. Contact information and hours of operation are available in the Resources section.

If you have suggestions for improving this guide, please contact us via email.