Tis the season to open a cold one. Ahead of International Beer Day on August 5, let’s take a minute to find out how much of your money is actually spent on the cost of a beer with this week’s tax map, which explores excise duty on beer.
EU law requires each EU country to levy an excise duty on beer of at least €1.87 per 100 liters (26.4 gal) and degree of alcohol. This equates to a minimum tax of €0.03 (US$0.04) for a 330ml (11.2oz) bottle of beer with an alcohol content of 5%. As this map illustrates, only a few EU countries remain close to the minimum rate; most levy much higher excise duties.
Finland, Ireland and the UK levy the highest excise duties on beer. Finland levies a tax of €0.63 ($0.74) per 330ml bottle of beer. Ireland and the UK both levy levy rates of €0.37 ($0.44) per beer.
Bulgaria, Germany, Luxembourg, Romania and Spain each levy around the EU minimum rate of €0.03 ($0.04) per bottle of beer.
All European countries covered also levy Value Added Tax (VAT) on beer, which is levied on the sale value of a bottle of beer. The excise duty amounts shown on the card are for excise duty only and do not include VAT.
|Country||Excise duty per 330 ml (11.2 oz) bottle of beer at 5% abv|
|Czech Republic (CZ)||€0.05||$0.06|
|United Kingdom (GB)||€0.37||$0.44|
Notes: Some countries levy reduced excise duties for small independent breweries. Excise duties have been converted to USD using the 2021 average USD-EUR exchange rate (0.846), see IRS, “Yearly Average Currency Exchange Rates”, https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international -taxpayers/yearly-average -exchange rate.
Source: European Commission, “Taxes in Europe Database”, accessed 5 July 2022, https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/tedb/splSearchForm.html; and Gov.uk, “Tax on purchases and services: duty on alcohol and tobacco”, https://www.gov.uk/tax-on-shopping/alcohol-tobacco.