Tax on shopping and services

6. Alcohol and tobacco duties

Tobacco Duty is included in the price you pay for cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products.

Alcohol duties are included in the price you pay for beer, cider or perry, wine or ‘made-wine’, and spirits. Made-wine is any alcoholic drink made by fermentation that isn’t beer, cider, perry, spirits or wine.

You also pay standard rate VAT at 20% on alcohol and tobacco products.

Tobacco Duty

You pay different rates of Tobacco Duty on cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products.

Tobacco product Rate
Cigarettes 16.5% of the retail price plus £4.16 on a packet of 20
Cigars £2.59 on a 10g cigar
Hand rolling tobacco £5.24 on a 25g packet
Other smoking tobacco and chewing tobacco (eg pipe tobacco) £2.85 on a 25g packet

Beer Duty

How much Beer Duty you pay depends on the beer’s strength, or ‘alcohol by volume’ (ABV).

Strength (ABV) Beer Duty rate per litre for each % of alcohol
More than 1.2%, up to 2.8% 8.42 pence
More than 2.8%, up to 7.5% 19.08 pence
More than 7.5% 24.77 pence

Example

You buy a pint of 5.0% strength lager. The Beer Duty you pay is 19.08p x 5.0 = 95.40 pence per litre. This works out at just over 54 pence a pint (about 568ml or 0.568 litres).

Cider Duty

You pay Cider Duty on cider and perry. How much depends on the strength and whether it’s still or sparkling.

Type of cider or perry Strength (ABV) Rate per litre
Still More than 1.2%, up to 7.5% 40.38 pence
Still More than 7.5% but less than 8.5% 61.04 pence
Sparkling More than 1.2%, up to 5.5% 40.38 pence
Sparkling More than 5.5% but less than 8.5% 279.46 pence

Wine Duty

How much Wine Duty you pay depends on the strength of the wine (or made-wine) and whether it’s still or sparkling.

Type of wine or made-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 More than 8.5%, up to 15% 369.72 pence

You pay duty on wine and made-wine of more than 22% ABV at the same rate as spirits.

Spirit Duty

You pay £28.74 of Spirit Duty per litre of pure alcohol.

Example

The Spirit Duty you pay on a 1 litre bottle of 40% ABV vodka is 40% of £28.74, or £11.50.