How to send a monthly return and calculate the duty you owe on wine or made-wine.
In this guide, wine is used to refer to both wine and made-wine.
You need to pay duty on any wine that:
- is over 1.2% ABV (alcohol by volume)
- has passed the duty point
- is not in duty suspension
- is not covered by a relief
You need to make sure you correctly calculate the strength and volume of your wine.
How much duty you pay depends on the strength of the wine and whether it’s still or sparkling. These are the Wine Duty rates payable from 13 March 2017.
|Type of wine||Strength (ABV)||Rate per litre|
|Still||More than 1.2%, up to 4%||88.93 pence|
|Still||More than 4%, up to 5.5%||122.30 pence|
|Still||More than 5.5%, up to 15%||288.65 pence|
|Still||More than 15%, up to 22%||384.82 pence|
|Sparkling||More than 5.5% but less than 8.5%||279.46 pence|
|Sparkling||At least 8.5%, up to 15%||369.72 pence|
You pay spirits duty on wine with more than 22% ABV.
When the rate changes during an accounting period, you must fill in 2 separate returns for the period. Mark each return as pre or post budget.
Who pays the duty
The person holding the wine at the duty point is liable for the duty.
HMRC will send you a return. You must submit this at the end of each accounting period. Pay Wine Duty by the 15th of the month after your accounting period.
You should submit a return even if your duty liability is nil.
Your accounting period is either a:
- calendar month
- 4 or 5 week period, as long as you agree this arrangement with HMRC beforehand
Where the 15th day of the month falls on a weekend or public holiday, we must have your return and payment by the last working day before it.
Where wine is placed in an excise warehouse, you must pay the duty and tell HMRC using either:
- the Alcohol and Tobacco Warehousing Declarations (ATWD) online service
- form W5 when paying by cash or equivalent
- form W5D when HMRC have approved your deferment request
If you have more than one licensed premises owned by the same legal entity, you can ask to combine the duty liability for each in the one return. You should keep an individual duty summary for each site and include this in the duty account of the site submitting the return.
You do not always have to pay duty to HMRC immediately. You can:
- hold wine that you’ve produced on your registered premises in duty suspension (that is, without payment of duty but your product always stays liable to duty)
- send it to another licensed wine producer for further processing
- send it to an excise warehouse approved to hold wine in duty suspension, to store or to carry out certain processes (like bottling)
If you’re only depositing wine in an excise warehouse you do not need to register with HMRC as an owner of warehoused goods.
You can also take wine into your registered premises and hold it in duty suspension if it’s:
- wine from another licensed wine producer and you’re carrying out further processing on it
- your own wine after it’s been processed somewhere else
You cannot take duty-suspended wine in a ready-for-sale state unless you produced it on your licensed premises.
You need to pay duty on wine in duty suspension when it passes the duty point.
When wine becomes liable to duty
Wine becomes liable to duty when it’s ‘produced’. This is when its strength is more than 1.2% ABV or it’s imported.
Passing the duty point
Duty only becomes due when wine passes the duty point, that’s when it leaves duty suspension. Duty stops being suspended when:
- you decide to pay the duty early for accounting purposes, this is called ‘constructive removal’
- the wine is lost
- the wine is irregularly diverted
- you are no longer licensed
- the premises where you’re holding the wine stops being licensed
- the wine is consumed in the licensed premises
- the wine leaves licensed premises, except when it’s delivered:
- to other appropriately approved premises for further processing
- to an excise warehouse
- for exportation
- for shipment as stores
- to HM ships
- to entitled diplomats
- to entitled members of visiting forces
Whichever of these events happens first is when you become liable and must pay.
Wine leaves duty suspension if you do not comply with the duty suspension arrangements.
If you produce wine for a commercial grower or lessee, and they do not sell it, you do not have to pay duty on it. The commercial grower or lessee must give you a declaration in writing that they will not sell it.
You can account for the duty on duty suspended wine before it’s dispatched from your licensed premises. This is called ‘constructive removal’.
Constructive removal lets you change the status of wine to duty paid without having to remove the wine from your premises.
When wine has been constructively removed, it cannot be returned to duty suspension in licensed premises.
The following section has the force of law under regulation 12A(3) of the Wine and Made-wine Regulations 1989.
You must record the:
- date of any change of status of any wine from duty suspended to duty paid
After you’ve stopped production, and your wine is finished and packaged, you’ll have to pay the duty on any:
- stock left in hand
- unexplained shortages
We may let you destroy the wine stock in hand as if it were unfit for sale. If you want to do this, you must still pay duty on unexplained shortages.
When we’re satisfied that you’ve accounted for all duties and destroyed your stock of wine, we’ll cancel your licence.
Reporting errors from earlier accounting periods
For mistakes of less than £1,000 in duty
If you find you have not declared enough in a previous accounting period, you must enter the amounts against lines 23 to 32 on the reverse of the return and carry the total forward to lines 35 and 17 for your current accounting period.
If you’ve declared too much, you must enter the amounts against lines 23 to 32 on the reverse of your return and carry the total to lines 36 and 18 for your current accounting period. You do not have to send written advice, but keep the details of the mistake for checking.
For mistakes of £1,000 or more in duty
If the total mistake means you’ve under or over declared £1,000 duty or more, you must make the adjustments on your return but then send the return and full details in writing to:
Environmental Taxes Team
St Mungo’s Road