Yesterday, the TTB announced the postponement of tax payment and other filing due dates due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The notification takes the form of a circular, TTB Industry Circular 2020-2. It is specifically premised on the Executive’s instruction to Treasury to provide relief to Americans adversely affected by the COVID-19 emergency.

In the circular, the TTB offers assistance to businesses like breweries, wineries and distilleries during the crisis with the following:

  • Postponing tax payment due dates for wine, beer, distilled spirits, tobacco products, cigarette papers and tubes, firearms, and ammunition excise taxes.
  • Postponing filing due dates for excise tax returns.
  • Postponing filing due dates for submission of operational reports.
  • Postponing filing due dates for claims for credit or refund by producers.
  • Postponing filing due dates for claims by manufacturers of nonbeverage products.
  • Postponing due dates for submission of export documentation.
  • Considering emergency variations from regulatory requirements for affected businesses on a case-by-case basis.
  • Reviewing requests for relief from penalties based on reasonable cause.

In case you want more detail on what’s being postponed, here’s the information directly from the circular:

1. Due Dates for Paying Excise Taxes to TTB

Effective immediately, all due dates for paying Federal excise taxes to TTB on wine, beer, distilled spirits, tobacco products, cigarette papers and tubes, firearms, and ammunition are postponed 90 days from the due date otherwise prescribed.  The postponement of due dates applies to any tax payment with an original due date falling on or after March 1, 2020, through July 1, 2020.  Interest and penalties will not accrue where such payments are made within 90 days of the usual due date.This Industry Circular does not postpone the payment of any other type of Federal tax.  The relief provided in this section is available solely with respect to Federal excise taxes payable to TTB.  Please contact U.S. Customs and Border Protection for information about the payment of Federal excise taxes on imported products.

2. Due Dates for Filing Federal Excise Tax Returns

Effective immediately, all due dates for filing Federal excise tax returns to TTB are postponed for 90 days from the usual due date.  The postponement of due dates applies to any tax return with an original due date falling on or after March 1, 2020, through July 1, 2020.  Any penalties that would otherwise accrue for failure to timely file will not accrue where such returns are filed within 90 days of the due date otherwise prescribed.  The postponed return filing due dates are specified in Attachment A to this Industry Circular.

3. Due Dates for Filing Operational Reports

TTB regulations require that certain regulated industry members file periodic operational reports.  These reports are filed on a monthly basis, unless an industry member is eligible for quarterly or annual filing, which depends on the size and type of industry operations.

TTB is postponing the due dates for submitting operational reports by alcohol and tobacco industry members for 90 days from the due date otherwise prescribed for reports due on or after March 1, 2020, through July 1, 2020.  The postponed due dates for the operational reports are specified in Attachment B to this Industry Circular.

4. Claims for Credit or Refund by Producers

The IRC specifies a six-month period for the filing of certain claims for credit or refund of Federal excise tax paid on distilled spirits, wine, beer, tobacco products, or cigarette papers or tubes.  These claims include, but are not limited to, claims for credit or refund of excise taxes paid on alcohol products returned to the premises of the producer and on tobacco products withdrawn from the market. See 26 U.S.C. 5008(c), 5044, 5056, and 5705.  TTB is postponing the filing due date for such claims filed by industry members for 90 days.  The postponement of due dates applies to any claim for which the due date for filing falls on or after March 1, 2020, through July 1, 2020.  To avoid potential delays during this period, industry members are strongly encouraged to electronically submit claims through TTB’s new online submission form. TTB will continue to process credit and refund claims as they are received, including claims filed during this outbreak.

5. Claims by Manufacturers of Nonbeverage Products

Manufacturers of nonbeverage products may file claims for drawback on distilled spirits used in such products.  Under 26 U.S.C. 5114, claims for drawback must be filed within the six months succeeding the quarter in which the distilled spirits were used in the nonbeverage product.  TTB is postponing the filing due dates for nonbeverage drawback claims for 90 days.  The postponement of due dates applies to any claim for nonbeverage drawback under 26 U.S.C. 5114 for which the due date for filing falls on or after March 1, 2020, through July 1, 2020.  To avoid potential delays during this period, industry members are strongly encouraged to electronically submit claims through TTB’s new online submission form.  TTB will continue to process drawback claims as they are received, including claims filed during this outbreak.

6. Submission of Export Documentation

Pursuant to regulations at 27 CFR 44.66, a manufacturer of tobacco products, a manufacturer of cigarette papers and tubes, or an export warehouse proprietor is relieved of the liability for tax on tobacco products or cigarette papers or tubes upon providing to TTB satisfactory evidence of exportation. This evidence must be provided within 90 days of removal.

TTB is postponing the due date for submission of evidence of exportation for these manufacturers and export warehouse proprietors for 90 days.  The postponement of due dates applies to any exportation for which the due date for filing proof of exportation falls on or after March 1, 2020, through July 1, 2020.  This postponement also applies to manufacturers and export warehouse proprietors who have been approved to submit monthly spreadsheets showing exportations pursuant to TTB Industry Circular 2004-3.

7. Emergency Variations from Regulatory Requirements

TTB recognizes that the operations of many of our regulated industry members may be impacted by COVID-19 in ways not addressed above.  For example, certain businesses may be located in an area ordered to shelter-in-place by state or local authorities.  In such cases, we will consider applications for the use of reasonable alternate methods and procedures that help the affected industry members to resume or continue their operations.  Alternate methods and procedures will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Please submit all request for emergency variations from regulatory requirements through our online contact form.

8. Additional Relief

Affected taxpayers subject to penalties despite the postponement of payment and filing due dates described by this Industry Circular may seek additional relief from penalties imposed under Section 6651 for failure to pay tax or failure to file a return, or under Section 6656 for failure to pay by electronic funds transfer (failure to deposit), based on a showing of reasonable cause.

 

 

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