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Alcoholic Beverages Taxes

Overview

Tennessee imposes three distinct taxes on alcoholic beverages manufactured or distributed in the state. Alcoholic beverages subject to these taxes include distilled spirits, wine, and high alcohol content beer, which is beer with an alcohol content of more than 8% by weight.

Brand Registration

Every alcoholic beverage brand distributed in Tennessee must be registered with the Department. Manufacturers or importers must annually register each brand of alcoholic beverage they sell in Tennessee and pay a brand registration tax.

Alcoholic Beverage Gallonage Tax

Tennessee levies a tax on every gallon of alcoholic beverages sold or distributed in the state. Generally, this tax is paid by wholesaler distributors. Depending on the manner of distribution, manufacturers, common carriers, direct shippers, and wineries may be responsible for collecting this tax.

Alcoholic Beverage Wholesale Tax

Tennessee also imposes a wholesale tax on each case of alcoholic beverages sold at wholesale in the state. Wholesalers are responsible for paying this tax.

Three-Tier System

Tennessee has a three-tier system for distributing alcoholic beverages. Generally, a licensed retailer may only purchase alcoholic beverages from a licensed wholesaler, a licensed wholesaler may only purchase alcoholic beverages from a licensed manufacturer/importer, and neither a licensed manufacturer/importer nor a licensed wholesaler may sell alcoholic beverages directly to a consumer. However, there are limited exceptions.