Wine Industry

What Happens After Qualification?

If your application is approved, you will have ongoing recordkeeping, reporting, labeling, and tax responsibilities, which vary depending on your operations.

The Federal wine regulations require bonded wine premises proprietors to maintain records about their operations. The records substantiate how the wine is labeled and how much excise tax must be paid.

These records include, but are not limited to, records of winemaking materials received and used, bulk wine records, bottling records, transfer in bond records, and taxpaid removal records.

The records may be maintained in any format that accurately reflects the wine operations. They may be handwritten or typed on a computer system. TTB regulations do not prescribe a method or format for the required records.

Bonded wine premises recordkeeping requirements are primarily listed in 27 CFR 24.300-.323.

Custom crush customers who are qualified as wholesalers are required to maintain a record of receipt in accordance with the Alcohol Beverage Dealers regulation in 27 CFR Part 31.222.

Wholesalers are not required to prepare or submit reports to TTB.

Most of the required winery and bonded wine cellar records are summarized and reported to TTB on the Report of Wine Premises Operations, TTB Form 5120.17. It is a balanced report that shows the receipt, production, and removal of all untaxpaid wine products. TTB has prepared a line-by-line guide to completing this form.

The report is submitted either monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending on the size of the operations. It is filed with the National Revenue Center in Cincinnati, Ohio on paper, or electronically through the Pay.gov program.

The regulation that discusses the Report of Wine Premises Operations is 27 CFR 24.300(g).

The amount of excise tax due on wine is determined when the wine leaves the bonded wine premises for consumption or sale. It is paid at a later date on a payment schedule that is appropriate for your operations, as shown in the regulations. Tax is based on the alcohol content of the wine or the method of production. Tax is due if the wine is either sold or given away. Samples of wine may be poured without payment of tax if the tasting takes place on the bonded wine premises and required records are kept. See 26 USC 5041.

The wine excise tax is paid to TTB either twice monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending on the size of the operation. It is paid by mailing the tax return TTB Form 5000.24 and payment to TTB, or it may be submitted electronically by using the Pay.gov program.

Custom crush clients who qualify with TTB as wholesalers receive and distribute wine that has already been taxpaid by a bonded wine premises. They do not pay excise tax to TTB.

The regulations pertaining to the determination and payment of wine excise tax are found in 27 CFR 24.270-.279.

Wine removed from bonded wine premises for consumption or sale must bear a label that was approved by TTB prior to bottling the wine.

The bottler of the wine is responsible for applying for label approval on TTB Form 5100.31, "Application for and Certification/ Exemption of Label/Bottle Approval." The applications are filed with TTB’s Advertising, Labeling and Formulation Division (ALFD) in Washington, D.C., and may be filed on paper or electronically using the COLAs Online system.

Custom crush customers do not submit label applications – this is always the responsibility of the bottling winery.

The Federal wine labeling and advertising regulations are found in 27 CFR Part 4.

  • Field Investigations and/or Audits

TTB conducts several types of investigations and audits of companies after approval of the original applications.

You may be contacted by either the Trade Investigations Division or the Tax Audit Division, if TTB schedules an examination of your production, tax, labeling, advertising, or other required records.

If you have any questions about the TTB application process, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are more than happy to offer assistance and to answer your questions.

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