As a winery compliance consultant it makes sense that I’m signed up for the TTB’s email updates. Some of these announcements are useful, while some have no effect on me at all. Yesterday’s was a rare breed in that I was surprised by what I read. What was so surprising? Starting in Q1 of 2017 holders of a TTB winery basic permit that meet the requirements to file their TTB excise taxes on either an annual or a quarterly basis will no longer be required to maintain a TTB wine bond. 

That’s big news! What does that mean for thousands of US wineries? (& for those about to start a new TTB winery application) They will no longer need to apply for or maintain their TTB wine bond, which for most businesses is an annual insurance policy. All wineries that owe up to $50,000 per year in TTB excise taxes can qualify for this “no TTB wine bond necessary” status. 

Next question, do you know what your winery’s current TTB wine bond amount is? This is the form that you are looking for in your records OR you can call your winery’s insurance office as they are likely who the TTB wine bond was set up through, as well as who you’ll contact come the end of 2016 to cancel the policy if your winery qualifies. 

Their are currently well over 8,000 wineries in the US and closer to 80% of those produce less than 5,000 cases of wine per year. That means they likely qualify to cancel their TTB wine bond. (as long as their winery isn’t part of a larger winery “portfolio” held by the same umbrella ownership) By the way if your winery ships out up to 23,000 cases of wine per year & qualifies for the small producers tax credit than you also likely qualify for this “No TTB wine bond necessary” status. 

If you are still wondering about your winery’s TTB wine bond status and whether you’ll qualify to cancel it come the end of this year please reach out to my office here to discuss further.

See the full text of the TTB’s announcement here.  

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