If you have ever wondered about the 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. consequences of opening a bottle of wine in Europe, today’s map will provide you with some insights.
As one might expect, southern European countries that are well-known for their wines—such as France, Greece, Portugal, and Spain—either don’t tax it or do so at a very low rate. But travel north and you’ll see countries that tend to levy taxes on wine—and often hefty taxes.
While 13 of the countries covered levy an 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. on wine, they do so at very different rates. The highest wine tax can be found in Ireland, at €3.19 (US $3.63) per standard size wine bottle (0.75 liters or 0.20 gallons). Finland and the United Kingdom are next, at €3.16 ($3.60) and €2.51 ($2.86), respectively.
Of the countries levying a wine tax, the lowest rate can be found in a country well-known for its wine: France, where a very low tax €0.03 ($0.03) per bottle is levied. Malta (€0.15 or $0.18) and Poland (€0.29 or $0.33) tax wine at the second and third lowest rates.
All European countries covered 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 wine, which is a tax charged on the sales value of the wine bottle. The excise amounts shown in the map relate only to excise taxes and do not include the VAT.
|Country||Excise Duty per Standard Sized Wine Bottle (0.75 liters or 0.20 gallons)|
|Czech Republic (CZ)||–||–|
|United Kingdom (GB)||€2.51||$2.86|
Source: European Commission, “Taxes in Europe Database,” accessed July 23, 2021, https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/tedb/splSearchForm.html; and Gov.uk, “Tax on shopping and services: Alcohol and tobacco duties,” https://www.gov.uk/tax-on-shopping/alcohol-tobacco.
Note: Some countries have different excise duties on wines with very low and/or very high alcohol content. The average 2020 exchange rate provided by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was used for the conversion from euros to dollars (USD 1 = EUR 0.877).
Stay informed on the tax policies impacting you.
Subscribe to get insights from our trusted experts delivered straight to your inbox.Subscribe