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When I started to deal with the legal regulations on alcohol in general, I realized for the first time that all spirits are subject to the excise tax. That was in 2016. Until the end of 2017, there was a liquor tax. This was then replaced by the excise tax on 01/01/2018.
Except for the name, nothing has changed. And I think the name consumer tax is easier to understand for the general population as well.
The alcohol tax, which is 13,03€ per liter of pure alcohol, can be temporarily suspended under certain conditions (for the time while the spirit is in storage).
This happens in a bounded warehouse. Bounded warehouses or tax warehouses can be requested for all goods subject to excise duty. Excise taxes are not only levied on spirits, but also, for example, on tobacco, beer or coffee.
We decided to apply for a bonded warehouse for alcohol products and beer products in 2018. (Small note: Wine can be stored in Germany without a bonded warehouse, as there is no wine tax.)
So in order not to get confused about which tax warehouse it is and Germans like to say everything with one word, the tax warehouse for alcohol products became colloquially simply alcohol warehouse or alcohol tax warehouse.
In these warehouses, in cooperation with the German customs, the goods can then be stored without paying alcohol tax (during storage). As already mentioned, this is13,03€ per liter of alcohol. For a one liter bottle with 40% vol. Alcohol, this means 1 × 0,4 × 13,03 = 5,21€.
This is a great economic advantage for the producers or distributors of spirits, as a large amount only has to be paid when the goods are sold.
So the next time you buy a bottle of rum, gin, vodka, tequila, mezcal or any other spirit, always remember that the state, in this case the Federal Republic of Germany, not only receives VAT at 19%, but also the alcohol tax goes through customs to the state. I think that if you are aware of this, spirits are suddenly no longer expensive 😉
For more insights and information read this article