Fermented Malt Beverage (Beer) Tax

  1. What are the definitions of "fermented malt beverage," "person" and "permittee?"

  2. What is the tax rate on fermented malt beverage?

  3. Do I need a license or permit to handle fermented malt beverage?

  4. What types of licenses and permits do I need?

  5. Who pays the fermented malt beverage tax?

  6. How do I pay fermented malt beverage tax?

  7. How do I file my fermented malt beverage tax return?

  8. What should I do if filing electronically causes a hardship?

  9. When are the fermented malt beverage tax returns due?

  10. Is any fermented malt beverage exempt from the fermented malt beverage tax?

  11. Will the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) refund any fermented malt beverage taxes I paid?

  12. How do I correct a fermented malt beverage tax return that I already filed?

  13. If I file an incorrect fermented malt beverage tax return, will I have to pay interest and penalties?

  14. Should I notify DOR if the business has a change to its name, address, or ownership or if the business ceases operating in Wisconsin?

  15. What records should I keep for Wisconsin tax purposes, and how long should I keep them?

  16. How can I get additional information or forms about the fermented malt beverage tax?


  1. What are the definitions of "fermented malt beverage," "person" and "permittee?"
  2. What is the tax rate on fermented malt beverage?

    There is a $2.00 occupational tax on every 31 gallon barrel. [sec. 139.02(1), Wis. Stats.]

  3. Do I need a license or permit to handle fermented malt beverage?

    Yes. You must have a license or permit to handle fermented malt beverage.

  4. What types of licenses and permits do I need?

    The following fermented malt beverage permits are issued by DOR:

    Types of Permits/AccountPrefixStatuteFeeTerm of Permit

    Wisconsin brewery (309)

    sec. 125.29

    none

    2 years

    Wisconsin Brewpub (320)

    sec. 125.295

    none

    2 years

    Industrial fermented malt beverage (301)

    sec. 125.275

    none

    2 years

    Wisconsin wholesalers and importers (308)

    sec. 125.28

    $2,400

    2 years

    Out-of-state shipper (304)

    sec. 125.30

    none

    2 years

    Wisconsin public warehouse (306)

    sec. 125.19

    $200

    2 years



    DOR also issues these retail fermented malt beverage permits:

    Types of Retail Permits/PrefixStatuteFeeTerm of Permit

    Sports club (318)

    sec. 125.27

    $200

    2 years

    Vessel (317)

    sec. 125.27

    $200

    2 years

    If you are a permittee and purchased fermented malt beverage from an out-of-state wholesaler that does not hold a permit with DOR, our Alcohol & Tobacco Enforcement Unit may confiscate the fermented malt beverage [sec. 139.22, Wis. Stats.].

    Security required

    Revocation of permits

    • As a permittee, it is very important to file your fermented malt beverage tax returns on time and pay any amount due. If you have poor filing and/or payment records, DOR may revoke your permits. [Secs. 139.11 and 139.25, Wis. Stats.]

  5. Who pays the fermented malt beverage tax?

    The following permittees pay the fermented malt beverage tax to DOR [sec. 139.05(2), Wis. Stats.]:

    Note: Sports club and vessel permit holders

    If you hold this type of retail permit, you are not required to file fermented malt beverage tax returns with DOR. The excise tax on the fermented malt beverage purchased in Wisconsin is paid at the wholesale level, not at the retail level.

  6. How do I pay the fermented malt beverage tax?

    You must pay your taxes by electronic funds transfer (EFT) if your liability was more than $1,000 in the previous calendar year. For more information, visit Electronic Funds Transfer Common Questions or call (608) 264‑9918.

    Your tax liability is determined and paid based on one of the following fermented malt beverage monthly returns [secs. 139.05(2) and 139.11(2), Wis. Stats.].

    There are two types of fermented malt beverage tax returns:

    Information on Wisconsin Fermented Malt Beverage Tax Monthly Taxable Barrels is reported on the Revenue website.

  7. How do I file my fermented malt beverage tax return?

    You are required to file all fermented malt beverage tax returns electronically. You may file using My Tax Account or an approved XML schema.

    For more information on:

  8. What should I do if filing electronically causes a hardship?

    If filing electronically causes you a hardship, you may request a waiver. If, based on your request, the Secretary of Revenue determines the requirement causes a hardship, the Secretary may waive your requirement to file electronically.

    To request a waiver, you must do the following:

  9. When are the fermented malt beverage tax returns due?

    All fermented malt beverage tax returns are due no later than the 15th day of the month following the period covered by the return [sec. 139.05(1), Wis. Stats.]. Example: a return for October is due November 15.

    If you file a late return, you will be charged:

  10. Is any fermented malt beverage exempt from the fermented malt beverage tax?

    Yes. The following are exempt from the Wisconsin fermented malt beverage tax [sec. 139.04, Wis. Stats.]:

  11. Will DOR refund any fermented malt beverage taxes I paid?

    Fermented malt beverage permittees may receive refunds from DOR if one of the following applies:

  12. How do I correct a fermented malt beverage tax return I already filed?
  13. If I file an incorrect fermented malt beverage tax return, will I have to pay interest or penalties?

    Yes. If you file an incorrect fermented malt beverage tax return, the following may apply:

  14. Should I notify DOR if the business has a change to its name, address, or ownership or if the business no longer operates in Wisconsin?

    Yes. You can inform DOR by letter, email or attach a note to your return.

  15. What records should I keep for Wisconsin tax purposes, and how long should I keep them?
  16. How can I get additional information or forms about the fermented malt beverage tax?

    ​FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

    Excise Tax Unit
    WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
    PO Box 8900
    Madison, WI 53708-8900
    Phone: (608) 266-6701
    Fax: (608) 261-7049
    Email additional questions to DORExciseTaxpayerAssistance@wisconsin.gov

January 29, 2019