CHAPTER 220

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES TAX

Table of Contents

Sec. 12-435. Tax on sale of alcoholic beverages.

Sec. 12-448. Appeals from decisions of commissioner.


Sec. 12-435. Tax on sale of alcoholic beverages. Each distributor of alcoholic beverages shall pay a tax to the state on all sales within the state of alcoholic beverages, except sales to licensed distributors, sales of alcoholic beverages that, in the course of such sales, are actually transported to some point without the state and except the first fifteen barrels of beer that is produced annually and consumed on the premises covered by a manufacturer's permit, at the rates for the respective categories of alcoholic beverages listed below:

(1) Beer, except as provided in subdivision (2) of this section, seven dollars and twenty cents for each barrel, three dollars and sixty cents for each half barrel, one dollar and eighty cents for each quarter barrel and twenty-four cents per wine gallon or fraction thereof on quantities less than a quarter barrel;

(2) Beer sold on the premises covered by a manufacturer's permit for off-premises consumption, three dollars and sixty cents for each barrel, one dollar and eighty cents for each half barrel, ninety cents for each quarter barrel and twelve cents per wine gallon or fraction thereof on quantities less than a quarter barrel;

(3) Liquor, five dollars and ninety-four cents per wine gallon;

(4) Still wines containing not more than twenty-one per cent of absolute alcohol, except as provided in subdivisions (8) and (9) of this section, seventy-nine cents per wine gallon;

(5) Still wines containing more than twenty-one per cent of absolute alcohol and sparkling wines, one dollar and ninety-eight cents per wine gallon;

(6) Alcohol in excess of 100 proof, five dollars and ninety-four cents per proof gallon;

(7) Liquor coolers containing not more than seven per cent of alcohol by volume, two dollars and seventy-one cents per wine gallon;

(8) Still wine containing not more than twenty-one per cent of absolute alcohol, produced by a person who produces not more than fifty-five thousand wine gallons of wine during the calendar year, twenty cents per wine gallon, provided such person presents to each distributor of alcoholic beverages described in this section a certificate, issued by the commissioner, stating that such person produces not more than fifty-five thousand wine gallons of wine during the calendar year. The commissioner is authorized to issue such certificates, prescribe the procedures for obtaining such certificates and prescribe their form; and

(9) Cider containing not more than seven per cent of absolute alcohol, seven dollars and ninety-two cents for each barrel, three dollars and ninety-six cents for each half barrel, one dollar and ninety-eight cents for each quarter barrel and twenty-six cents per wine gallon or fraction thereof on quantities less than a quarter barrel.

(1949 Rev., S. 4325; 1961, P.A. 604, S. 9; 1969, P.A. 632, S. 1; June, 1971, P.A. 5, S. 117; P.A. 73-287, S. 1, 2; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-1, S. 5, 15; P.A. 87-574, S. 2, 4; P.A. 89-16, S. 6, 31; P.A. 93-74, S. 33, 67; P.A. 97-243, S. 33, 67; P.A. 11-6, S. 98; P.A. 19-24, S. 1; P.A. 19-117, S. 352; 19-186, S. 6.)

History: 1961 act increased rates; 1969 act temporarily increased rates for period between July 1, 1969, and June 30, 1971; 1971 act moved closing date for temporary increase to 1973; P.A. 73-287 made increases permanent rates; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-1 provided for an increase of 20% in the amount of tax imposed with respect to each category of alcoholic beverages as listed in this section, effective August 1, 1983, and applicable to sales of alcoholic beverages by distributors on or after that date; P.A. 87-574 added Subdiv. (f) providing for the rate of tax applicable to liquor coolers as defined in Sec. 12-433, effective July 1, 1987, and applicable to sales of liquor coolers on or after that date; P.A. 89-16 provided for increases in the rate of tax applicable to each of the categories of alcoholic beverages, effective March 23, 1989, and applicable to sales of alcoholic beverages on or after April 1, 1989; P.A. 93-74 added Subdiv. (g) re tax rate for wine containing not more than 21% alcohol produced by a person producing not more than 55,000 gallons, effective May 19, 1993, and applicable to sales of alcoholic beverages occurring on and after July 1, 1993; P.A. 97-243 added Subdiv. (h) re cider and made technical changes, effective June 24, 1997, and applicable to sales occurring on or after July 1, 1997; P.A. 11-6 amended Subdiv. (a) by increasing tax from $6.00 to $7.20 on each barrel of beer, from $3.00 to $3.60 on each half barrel, from $1.50 to $1.80 on each quarter barrel and from $.20 to $.24 on quantities less than a quarter barrel, amended Subdiv. (b) by increasing tax on liquor from $4.50 to $5.40 per wine gallon, amended Subdiv. (c) by increasing tax on still wines with not more than 21% of alcohol from $.60 to $.72 per wine gallon, amended Subdiv. (d) by increasing tax on still and sparkling wines from $1.50 to $1.80 per wine gallon, amended Subdiv. (e) by increasing tax on alcohol over 100 proof from $4.50 to $5.40 per proof gallon, amended Subdiv. (f) by increasing tax on liquor coolers from $2.05 to $2.46 per wine gallon, and amended Subdiv. (g) by increasing tax on wine produced in limited quantities from $.15 to $.18 per wine gallon, effective May 4, 2011, and applicable to sales occurring on or after July 1, 2011; P.A. 19-24 added provision re exception for first 15 barrels of malt beverages produced annually, redesignated Subsecs. (a) to (h) as Subdivs. (1) to (8) and made technical and conforming changes, effective January 1, 2020; P.A. 19-117 redesignated Subsec. (a) as Subdiv. (1), added Subdiv. (2) re tax on beer sold on premises covered by manufacturer's permit for off-premises consumption, redesignated Subsecs. (b) to (h) as Subdivs. (3) to (9) and amended redesignated Subdivs. (3) to (9) to increase tax on liquor, certain still wines, certain alcohol, certain liquor coolers, other still wine, and certain ciders, respectively, and made technical and conforming changes, effective October 1, 2019, and applicable to sales occurring on or after October 1, 2019; P.A. 19-186 replaced “malt beverages which are” with “beer that is”, redesignated Subsecs. (a) to (h) as Subdivs. (1) to (8), and made technical and conforming changes, effective July 1, 2019 (Revisor's note: Subdiv. numbering and internal Subdiv. references were made to conform with the addition of Subdiv. (2) by P.A. 19-117, for accuracy).

Sec. 12-448. Appeals from decisions of commissioner. Any taxpayer aggrieved because of any decision, order, determination or disallowance of the Commissioner of Revenue Services under the provisions of this chapter may, not later than thirty days after service upon such taxpayer of notice of such decision, order, determination or disallowance, take an appeal therefrom to the superior court for the judicial district of New Britain, which appeal shall be accompanied by a citation to the Commissioner of Revenue Services to appear before said court. Such citation shall be signed by the same authority, and such appeal shall be returnable at the same time and served and returned in the same manner, as is required in case of a summons in a civil action. The authority issuing the citation shall take from the appellant a bond or recognizance to the state of Connecticut, with surety to prosecute the appeal to effect and to comply with the orders and decrees of the court in the premises. Such appeals shall be preferred cases, to be heard, unless cause appears to the contrary, at the first session, by the court or by a committee appointed by the court. Said court may grant such relief as may be equitable, and, if such tax has been paid prior to the granting of such relief, may order the Treasurer to pay the amount of such relief, with interest at the rate of two-thirds of one per cent per month or fraction thereof, to the aggrieved taxpayer. If the appeal has been taken without probable cause, the court may tax double or triple costs, as the case demands; and, upon all such appeals which are denied, costs may be taxed against the appellant at the discretion of the court, but no costs shall be taxed against the state.

(1949 Rev., S. 4338; 1971, P.A. 870, S. 27; P.A. 76-436, S. 318, 681; P.A. 77-614, S. 139, 610; P.A. 78-280, S. 5, 127; P.A. 84-492, S. 5, 8; P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 89-343, S. 12, 17; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; P.A. 95-26, S. 20, 52; 95-220, S. 4-6; P.A. 99-215, S. 24, 29; P.A. 19-186, S. 19.)

History: 1971 act substituted court of common pleas for superior court, effective September 1, 1971, except that courts with cases pending retain jurisdiction unless matters pending are transferable; P.A. 76-436 substituted superior court for court of common pleas, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-280 substituted judicial district of Hartford-New Britain for Hartford county; P.A. 84-492 provided that appeals should be taken within one month of notice of the decision, order, determination or disallowance; P.A. 88-230 replaced “judicial district of Hartford-New Britain” with “judicial district of Hartford”, effective September 1, 1991; P.A. 89-343 increased the rate of interest on the amount of relief ordered by the court from 6% to 9% per annum; P.A. 90-98 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1991, to September 1, 1993; P.A. 93-142 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1993, to September 1, 1996, effective June 14, 1993; P.A. 95-26 lowered interest rate from 9% per annum to 0.66% per month, effective July 1, 1995, and applicable to taxes due and owing on or after July 1, 1995, whether or not those taxes first became due before said date; P.A. 95-220 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 99-215 replaced “judicial district of Hartford” with “judicial district of New Britain”, effective June 29, 1999; P.A. 19-186 replaced “within one month” with “not later than thirty days”, effective July 8, 2019.