Alcohol Tax

Under the Maryland alcohol tax laws, the Revenue Administration Division is responsible for monitoring the manufacture, storage, transportation, sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages and tobacco in Maryland, while collecting nearly $310 million annually in state taxes on beer, wine and distilled spirits.

This section contains all of the information, resources and tools business taxpayers will need to understand the tax. Follow the links below and at the bottom of each page of the section.

ATM Unit is responsible for reviewing, processing and verifying all alcohol, tobacco and motor fuel tax returns/reports that are required to be submitted to the Comptroller's office. For return specific questions please contact

Taxpayer Services is responsible for providing responses to general inquiries, payment/ billing questions, requests for copies and general customer service.

Below are the current excise taxes for alcohol. Five 750 ml. bottles equals one gallon:

Distilled Spirits $1.50 per gallon $0.3963 per liter
Wine $ .40 per gallon $0.1057 per liter
Beer, Cider and Mead $ .09 per gallon $0.023778 per liter

Manufacturing Alcohol

You may manufacture beer and wine on private premises for personal use, not for sale. If you reside in St. Mary's County, you may also manufacture and sell wine. The Comptroller is authorized to issue a beer and wine facility permit for individuals to make beer and wine at a commercial facility for home consumption.

You can only manufacture or blend distilled spirits on premises licensed under Maryland law. In addition, you cannot possess, buy, sell, or manufacture any materials or equipment used or intended for use in connection with the unlawful manufacture of distilled spirits.

Working and Alcoholic Beverages

Counties dictate the age requirement, so the age may vary based on the county where the retail establishment resides; but, in general, a person under the age of 21 may not be employed in the serving or selling of alcoholic beverages. A person of at least 18 years of age may stock shelves and perform other related duties; they, however, cannot serve or sell alcohol. See Alcoholic Beverages Article 3-503 and Criminal Law, CL 10-114 for specifics.

Travelling and Alcoholic Beverages

Generally, up to one gallon (4 quarts) per trip is legal. One quart per trip is tax exempt. The remaining three quarts are taxed in Maryland. Only two quarts are tax exempt per calendar month. Five 750 ml. bottles equals one gallon:

Five 750 ml. bottles equal one gallon
From within the United States One quart, tax-free
From Guam, American Samoa, and U.S. Virgin Islands One gallon, tax-free
From outside the United States One gallon; one quart, tax-free (the remaining three quarts are taxed.)

Exemptions Alcohol cannot be shipped to you, except nationally sold wine whereby you must make arrangements to ship the wine to you through a Maryland wholesaler, using a Direct Wine Sellers Permit. Internationally, no alcohol may be shipped to you, including wine. See Alcoholic Beverages Article 6-327.

When relocating, the alcohol is considered a household good. You must obtain a Change of Domicile Permit by completing Form COM-FED/RLS-328. There is no limit on the amount of alcohol shipping into the state.

See Tax-General Article, Section 5-104 and Administrative Release AB-1, for more information.

Alcohol beverage licensees due a refund may:
  • To file a claim, use form ATT-001-1, within 90 days from the date of purchase of any exempt alcoholic beverage.
  • In the case of condemned, lost or unmarketable products, file a claim within six months of the date the products were determined to be lost, condemned or unmarketable, but only if the claim exceeds $250.00 and is not due to theft.

If a tax payment is due with the alcohol tax return, a check or money order may accompany the return, or payment can be submitted electronically using the Web site below. If submitting payment electronically, please pay on or before the due date.

Returns and applications for licenses and permits, along with payment, can be mailed to:

Comptroller of Maryland
Revenue Administration Division
P.O. Box 2999
Annapolis, MD 21404-2999

Filing Method

All alcohol returns and reports mailed, must have an original signature of an owner, partner or officer.

A ZERO tax return/report is due even if there is no activity for the month.

Filing Deadlines

Return/Report Due Date
Wholesale Beer Reports 10th of the month following the report month
Maryland Brewery Tax Returns,
along with a copy of the Federal Brewer's Report of Operations
10th of the month following the report quarter
Non-Resident Winery Returns 10th of the month following the report month
Charity Wine Auction Permit Holder Report 30 days after the event
Family Beer and Wine Facility Permit Report 15th of October (filed annually)
Manufacturer's and Wholesalers of Wine and Distilled Spirits Monthly 20th of the month following the report quarter
Manufacturer's and Wholesalers of Wine and Distilled Spirits Quarterly 15th of the month following the report month
National Family Beer and/or Exhibition report 30 days after the close of the event
Non-Resident Dealer Beer Tax Returns 15th of the month following the report month
Railroad, Steamboats and Airplanes Tax Returns 25th of the month following the report month
Storage Reports 15th of the month following the report month

Direct Wine Shipper Tax Return Information Filing Method

Direct Wine Shippers must submit Form 315, pages one and two. Direct Wine Shippers are allowed to submit their own spreadsheet in place of the second page as long as it contains the name, address, and number of liters shipped to each consumer.

Direct Wine Shippers can complete and print the form or you can file online here.

Filing Deadlines

Quarter Due Date
January through March April 10th
April through June July 10th
July through September October 10th
October through December January 10th

Acquisitions - Product received by your business from authorized sources.

Consignee - Consignee is the receiver of product.

Consignor - Consignor is the supplier of product.

Contracted Beer - Beer received or distributed in accordance with a contractual agreement between two authorized entities.

Conversion Calculation of Liters to Gallons - Convert total liters of product to total gallons by multiplying total amount of liters by .264 (example, one case of 750 ml bottles (12 bottles per case) = 9 liters x 0.264 = 2.376 gallons.

Custom Bonded Warehouse - Premises established under the provisions of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service regulations, on which alcohol production and other authorized operations may be conducted.

Direct Wine Shipper - A direct wine shipper's permit entitles the holder to ship directly to a Maryland consumer 21 years and older, ONLY its own manufactured wine.

Dispositions - Product distributed or removed from your business.

Excise Tax - Maryland collects special excise taxes on the sale of all types of alcohol, subdivided into specific taxes on wine, beer, and liquor. Please note, excise tax is separate from Maryland Sales and Use Tax which is collected as a percentage of the final purchase price of sale.

Fermentation - Process of fermentation involved in the making of beer, wine, and liquor, in which sugars are converted to ethyl alcohol.

Invoice number - Maryland Alcohol Tax forms use the term "invoice number" to uniquely identify a transaction in your records. Any combination of numeric, alpha, or special characters is accepted.

Manufacturer - A person/ business who operates within the State a place of business for blending, bottling, brewing, distilling, fermenting, or rectifying an alcoholic beverage.

On hand end of month inventory - Total physical inventory count of products at the end of reporting period.

Overproof - Distilled Spirit alcoholic beverage product that is above 100 proof, that is more than 50 percent alcohol by volume (ABV).

Recapitulation - A restatement of alcohol beverage sales reflecting distribution by county.

Rectification - Maryland Alcohol Tax forms use the term "rectification" to reference the process whereby distilled spirits are cut, blended, mixed or infused with any ingredient in the production process prior to packaging.

Unaccountable Difference - The term "unaccountable difference" reflects a discrepancy between total on hand beginning inventory plus acquisitions and total on hand end of period inventory plus dispositions.

Unfinished Product - Bulk alcoholic beverage products not yet packaged for sale or distribution.

Wholesaler - An entity authorized to acquire alcoholic beverage for distribution to Retailers.

Assistance with alcohol tax matters is also available in person at branch locations, by telephone or e-mail. Individuals and businesses can also use online services to make convenient direct debit payments, find license and permit information, and satisfy other responsibilities.

General Information

Taxpayer Services (Business option)
410-260-7980 from Central Maryland or toll-free 1-800-638-2937

Tax Pro Helpline

For general questions, requests for copies, inquiries regarding Comptroller issued notices, payment information, outstanding balance inquiries, Alcohol efile questions, payment research requests, Alcohol Direct debit, etc.

Return/ Report Specific Questions:
ATM Unit- Alcohol, Tobacco, Motor Fuel & IFTA Returns Processing

License/ Permit Applications, Renewals, Holds, Issues:
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Cannabis Commission (ATCC)

To request closure of an Alcohol Excise Tax License/ Permit, please contact ATCC.

Alcohol Tax Mailing Address

Comptroller of Maryland
Revenue Administration Division
P.O. Box 2999
Annapolis, MD 21404-2999

Application Description
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Direct Debit Payments Application Make alcohol tax payments electronically
Credit Control Reporting System Report unpaid credit sales owed to wholesalers
Alcohol eFile File your Alcohol returns electronically

The following reports are part of a collection of annual and monthly revenue reports published by the Comptroller's Office. For a full listing of reports, see Spotlight on Maryland's Money.

  • Alcohol Comparative Deliveries: This monthly report details the compares the delivery of alcoholic beverages and cigarette tax stamp sales to the same month of the previous year. The information provided is detailed by jurisdiction and type of product.
  • Alcohol Receipts and Refunds: This report lists the amount collected in tax receipts, license and permit fees along with other miscellaneous charges for alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and other tobacco products on a monthly basis. The report also shows the percent change over the last 10 months.

For more information on Direct Wine Shipment please visit Direct Wine Shipment Report.