VAT on wine and Co.

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Even if beer is often referred to as a staple food for fun, it belongs like everyone else Alcoholic beverages not to food in the sense of the sales tax law, whereby the reduced tax rate does not comes into force. Certain alcoholic beverages such as sparkling wine, beer and brandy are subject to additional tax in addition to value added tax (VAT).

Multiple taxation on alcoholic beverages
Multiple taxation on alcoholic beverages

VAT for alcoholic beverages

In Germany, most groceries are normally subject to the reduced tax rate, so that for Example for vegetables, fruit, fish, meat and baked goods only seven percent value added tax (VAT) attack.

  • However, all beverages are generally excluded from this reduction, so the normal tax rate of 19 percent applies. So if you buy an apple, for example, you only have to pay seven percent VAT, compared to 19 percent for an apple juice.
  • In principle, it does not matter whether the drink in question contains or does not contain alcohol. However, there is an exception rule for a reduced tax rate for a few drinks. This includes natural water and milk as well as (non-alcoholic) mixed milk drinks with a milk content of at least 74 percent.
  • For all other drinks such as mineral water, tea, coffee or all alcoholic beverages, 19 percent VAT must always be paid.

Special features for spirits, sparkling wines and Co.

In addition to the applicable VAT, there are other taxes that may apply to certain alcoholic beverages.

Value added tax on beer in Bavaria - background information

Beer is one of the most popular drinks in Germany and especially in Bavaria, ...

  • These include, for example, the beer, brandy, sparkling wine and Alcopop tax. These consumption taxes are generally incurred during the production of the respective alcoholic drink and are paid to the federal government or the federal states (beer tax) paid. It is important that the added value or value added tax is not overridden by this, but the drink is taxed twice, so to speak. First of all, the respective consumption tax is due during production, then during sale 19 percent VAT charged.
  • The spirits tax is - to put it simply - levied on all beverages with an ethanol content is relevant, whereby certain drinks such as sparkling wines or beers are excluded because these are taxed separately will. Thus, spirits include high-proof beverages such as whiskey, vodka, brandy or fruit brandy, but also mixed drinks containing spirits, food or cosmetic products.

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