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Tax Information for Malt Beverage and Liquor Licensees

The Department of Revenue works with business owners to help them understand their tax filing obligations under Pennsylvania law. Below is information on the taxes that are typically applicable for Malt Beverage and Liquor licensees in Pennsylvania.

Malt Beverage Tax

The malt beverage tax is levied on malt or brewed beverages manufactured and sold for use in Pennsylvania, or manufactured outside of Pennsylvania but sold for importation and use in Pennsylvania. Here is other information:

  1. Malt Beverage tax law states that all licensed manufacturers, which includes importing distributors, are required to file a REV-1052 tax return with the department by the 15th day of each month for all malt or brewed beverages sold in or imported into Pennsylvania during the previous month.
  2. If the 15th of the month falls on a weekend or holiday, the report is due the next business day. Each report must be signed and accompanied by all applicable schedules. Please note that a report must be filed whether or not sales are made during a given month.
  3. In addition to filing the tax return, the filer must also pay the malt beverage excise tax at the rate of a penny a pint. Payment options can be found by visiting Malt Beverage Tax and Liquor Tax forms.
  4. Each licensee shall post an acceptable surety bond with the department for each license location to guarantee the payment of the taxes imposed by the law. Each bond shall be in an amount equal to the highest two months’ average tax liability of the preceding 12-month period, but not less than $5,000.

Sales & Use Tax

Pennsylvania sales and use tax is imposed on the retail sale, consumption, rental or use of tangible personal property in Pennsylvania. The tax is also imposed on certain services relating to such property and on the charge for specific business services. Here is other information:

  1. The Pennsylvania sales tax rate is 6 percent. By law, a 1 percent local tax is added to purchases made in Allegheny County, and 2 percent local tax is added to purchases made in Philadelphia.
  2. A use tax, at the same rate as sales tax, is due on taxable purchases of tangible personal property or specified services used or consumed in Pennsylvania where no sales tax is paid to a vendor. For example, the purchase may have been made out-of-state.
  3. Act 13 of 2019 changed sales tax as it applies to sales of malt or brewed beverages made by manufacturers directly to consumers for on or off premises consumption. The law imposes a use tax on manufacturers for any malt or brewed beverages sold directly to the ultimate consumer for consumption on or off premises. Act 13 of 2019 also sets the use tax base at 25% of the retail price of the malt or brewed beverage sold for consumption on or off premises. Visit Collecting Pennsylvania use tax at breweries for further information and responses to frequently asked questions.
  4. Major items exempt from sales tax include food (not ready-to-eat); candy and gum; most clothing; textbooks; computer services; pharmaceutical drugs; sales for resale; and residential heating fuels, such as oil, electricity, gas, coal and firewood.
  5. See the Retailer's Information Guide (REV-717) or the more detailed Taxability Lists for taxable items to review subjectivity to sales tax of goods and services.

Personal Income Tax

Pennsylvania personal income tax is levied at the rate of 3.07 percent against taxable income of resident and nonresident individuals, estates, trusts, partnerships, S corporations, business trusts and limited liability companies not federally taxed as corporations. Visit Personal Income Tax for further information.

Employer Withholding

Pennsylvania law requires employers to withhold Pennsylvania personal income tax from employees’ compensation in two common cases: (1) When resident employees perform services within or outside Pennsylvania; and (2) When nonresident employees perform services within Pennsylvania. Visit Employer Withholding for further information.

Corporate Net Income Tax

Domestic and foreign corporations are subject to the corporate net income tax for the privilege of doing business, carrying on activities, having capital or property employed or used in Pennsylvania, or owning property in Pennsylvania. This tax is levied at the rate of 9.99 percent on federal taxable income, without the federal net operating loss deduction and special deductions, and modified by certain additions and subtractions. Visit Corporate Net Income Tax for further information.

One-Stop Shop

Whether you are thinking about starting your own business or expanding your existing company, the Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop is a helpful resource to connect entrepreneurs with important information on registering, operating and growing a business in Pennsylvania.