According to EU law, every EU country is required to levy an excise duty on beer of at least €1.87 per 100 liters (26.4 gal) and degree of alcohol content (abv), translating to approximately €0.03 per 330ml (12oz) beer bottle at 5% abv. As today’s map shows, only a few EU countries stick to the minimum rate, while most countries have decided to levy much higher excise duties.
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As is the case with wine taxes, Finland, Ireland, and the United Kingdom are the EU countries levying the highest excise duties on beer. You’ll find the highest beer taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. in Finland, at €0.60 per 330ml beer bottle. Ireland and the United Kingdom are second and third, at €0.37 and €0.35, respectively.
Bulgaria, Germany, Luxembourg, Romania, and Spain are the only countries levying EU’s minimum rate of €0.03 per beer bottle.
All European countries also levy a value-added tax (VAT)A Value-Added Tax (VAT) is a consumption tax assessed on the value added in each production stage of a good or service. Every business along the value chain receives a tax credit for the VAT already paid. The end consumer does not, making it a tax on final consumption. on beer. The excise amounts shown in the map above relate only to excise taxAn excise tax is a tax imposed on a specific good or activity. Excise taxes are commonly levied on cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, soda, gasoline, insurance premiums, amusement activities, and betting, and typically make up a relatively small and volatile portion of state and local and, to a lesser extent, federal tax collections. es and do not include the VAT, which is charged on the sales value of a beer bottle.
Note: This is part of a map series in which we examine excise taxes in Europe.