Tax Guide for Distillers and Distributors of Distilled Spirits

California has a growing number of distilleries and increasing sales of distilled spirits. We recognize that understanding and dealing with tax issues related to the distilled spirits 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.

To help you better understand your sales, use, and alcoholic beverage tax obligations, we have created this guide with topics important for distillers and distributors of distilled spirits.

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 tax application to purchases of many items used by distilleries.

The Industry Topics section covers many topics in an at-a-glance format which can be expanded to show 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. The tax and fee laws can be complex. If you have specific questions about the information in this guide, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) recommends that you get answers from us in writing. This enables us to give you the best advice and may help protect you from owing tax, penalties, and interest in case we give you erroneous information.

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 CDTFA-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.