Record keeping for Wine Duty (Excise Notice 163b)

Records you must keep if you’re liable for Wine Duty on wine or made-wine.


You must produce and keep a record of your business activities. HMRC may examine:

  • profit and loss and trading statements
  • management accounts and reports
  • balance sheets and trading forecasts
  • internal and external auditor’s reports
  • any record kept for a business purpose

Records you must keep

Your normal business records should have, or can be adapted to hold, the information we need.

The following section has the force of law under regulation 6 of the Revenue Trader (Accounts and Records) Regulations 1992.

You must keep records that show:

  • materials used (including additives)
  • samples
  • domestic consumption
  • imports
  • exports
  • receipts
  • details of any stock-takes, including details of any surplus, deficiency or other discrepancy revealed by the stock-take
  • details of processes and operations including:
    • fermentations
    • additions
    • drawing off
    • bottling and packaging
  • quantities and strength of wine that is:
    • produced and received
    • sent out from licensed premises
    • returned to licensed premises
    • constructively removed
    • lost or destroyed on licensed premises
    • rendered sparkling

Duty accounts

You must keep a duty account, which is a summary of the Wine Duty due in each accounting period.

The following section has the force of law under regulation 5(1) of the Revenue Trader (Accounts and Records) Regulations 1992.

You must keep an account that holds the:

  • amount of duty on all wine that leaves duty suspension
  • amount of duty you’ve reclaimed on spoilt wine that’s been destroyed or reprocessed
  • amount of any under-declarations from previous periods
  • amount of any over-declarations from previous periods
  • net amount of duty due for the period, the date and method of payment

How long to keep your records

You must keep your business records for 6 years. But you can ask HMRC if you can keep your records for a shorter period if this causes you:

  • storage problems
  • unreasonable expense

You must have our agreement before you destroy any of your records if they’re less than 6 years old. Contact Excise Enquiries Helpline if you are unsure.

Storing original documents

You do not have to keep your records in any set way as long as you can produce copies and you let us view them when we need to. Your records must be accessible for at least 6 years.

Visits by HMRC

We’ll make visits to check you’re assessing and accounting for duty correctly on all wine leaving your licensed premises. We’ll audit your commercial, accounting and management control systems, and carry out physical checks on production, stock and movements of wine in duty suspension.

We’ll usually make an appointment before we visit. We may visit without an appointment but our officers will tell you the reason for this.

At any reasonable time, you must let our officers into any area of the licensed premises. You must make sure that all your security personnel are aware that we may visit without an appointment. All of our officers carry identification and will show this when they arrive.

Published 11 July 2018