In my post from January 5th I shared about the TTB starting to take a stricter enforcement stance on a regulation that’s been on their books forever, which is their within 30 day filing requirement when either a winery has changed hands from one business to another one, or when an existing business makes changes to the owners listed on its entity.

Wineries will want to pay attention to this because it hits their bank accounts in that the TTB is (correctly) taking the stance that if wineries are not submitting these ownership change applications within 30 days, they are NOT allowed to deduct the CBMA tax credits off of their TTB excise tax payments. That tax credit starts at $1.00 per gallon, which is a hefty amount in deductions!

The type of applications that are required to be filed fall into two categories. If a winery is being sold from one business to another one, such as ABC Winery LLC is being sold to Acme Inc, that type of application the TTB calls a change of proprietorship. Acme Inc would file that application, identifying it as a change of proprietorship in a beginning screen in the application. The other category is when an existing winery, such as ABC Winery LLC makes changes to the members listed on their LLC operating agreement. For example if the original members were two individuals each holding 50% ownership, Jane and John Doe. Then John is removed and replaced with Jake Doe holding 50% ownership. ABC Winery LLC would be required to file what the TTB calls a change in control application to their existing TTB basic permit entity file.

All TTB applications are now filed online, via Permits Online. It is in the best interest of all US wineries to have an account set up for Permits Online, and within that account link access to their winery’s application files. Another tip – the individual who sets up the account with Permits Online needs to hold what the TTB calls either signing authority or power of attorney for the winery, otherwise they won’t be given access to the application files. Permits Online is where all applications impacting either their entity (ownership) details are filed, as well as all updates to their winery itself. US wineries no longer need to submit any applications on paper to the TTB. Hallelujah!

A winery will have at a minimum two account files in their Permits Online account, one called “application for winery operations” and the other “application for original entity”. It is in the second one, the entity file that these ownership update applications will be filed. Certain entity documents will be required to be uploaded for the new business as part of these applications, such as copies of filings from secretary of state offices, operating agreements, and corporate meeting minutes.

Lastly, in direct relation to any time a winery needs to file either of these ownership update type applications to the TTB they also need to be filing similar types of applications for their home state license, (CA ABC here in CA) as well as with any states they ship their wines to. This is especially important in the case of an ownership change from one entity to a completely different one.

Our office offers a consultation call to discuss topics like this one, as well as other TTB topics such as the 5120.17, excise tax reports & label approvals.

Here is a link to schedule a call to discuss your winery’s TTB compliance questions:

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