Regulatory and Formal Guidance

Information on 2017 Changes to Eligibility for the Hard Cider Tax Rate

The Internal Revenue Code criteria for the "hard cider" tax rate has changed for wines removed from wine premises or customs custody on or after January 1, 2017.  The hard cider tax rate is lower than the tax rate for other wines.  The modified criteria broaden the range of wines eligible for the hard cider tax rate as follows:

  • The allowable alcohol content increases from less than 7 percent to less than (not equal to) 8.5 percent alcohol by volume;
  • The allowable carbonation level increases from 0.392 to 0.64 gram of carbon dioxide per hundred milliliters of wine; and
  • The use of pears and pear juice concentrate is authorized in wine eligible for the hard cider tax rate.  

Wine eligible for the hard cider tax rate cannot contain fruit products or fruit flavors other than apple and pear.
Please see the link below for the latest information on TTB's implementation of these changes.


Statutory Changes to Criteria for "Hard Cider" Tax Rate Become Effective; TTB Regulations and Guidance To Be Published Soon (12/30/2016)

Description: CONTACT US
For more information on regulations and public guidance, contact the Regulations and Rulings Division at 202-453-2265 or email

Page last reviewed: December 30, 2016
Page last updated: January 3, 2017
Maintained by: Office of Communications, Regulations and Rulings Division

No FEAR Act | Disaster Relief | | Inspector General | White House | | Webmaster |