Sparkling Wine Taxes in Europe

December 27, 2019

In a few days, people around the world will celebrate the turn of a decade, with many opening a bottle of sparkling wine to wish farewell to 2019 and offer a warm welcome to 2020. How such a bottle of sparkling wine is taxed differs significantly across EU countries, ranging from no excise tax in some countries to over €6 per bottle in Ireland.

New Year's Eve in Europe. Sparkling wine taxes in Europe

You’ll find the highest excise taxes on sparkling wine in Ireland, at €6.37 (US $7.08) per standard sized wine bottle (750ml or 20oz). The United Kingdom and Finland are next, at €3.11 ($3.46) and €2.98 ($3.31), respectively.

Of the countries levying a sparkling wine tax, the lowest rates can be found in France (€0.07, or $0.08), Romania (€0.08, or $0.09), and Malta (€0.15, or $0.17)

All European countries also levy a value-added tax (VAT) on sparkling wine. The amounts shown on the map relate only to excise taxes and do not include the VAT, which is charged on the sales value of the sparkling wine bottle.

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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.

An 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 make up a relatively small and volatile portion of state and local tax collections.