View Full Version : Tax issues

09-05-2008, 08:59 AM
This is beginning to drive me crazy. The tax folks here insist on being present at every beer transfer (into dispensing tanks). Our sales are increasing and this means more headaches for me since they need a one day heads up and they dont work on weekends. Is this normal? In Germany where I worked before, you were just required to keep a "tax book" and pay every month. The authorities would come by a few times a year just to make sure all was ok but it was no real headache at all (except for having to weigh kegs). How is it in the U.S?

09-05-2008, 10:43 AM
Absolutely unheard of!
Notify them you expect to transfer every day including weekends. Transfer 1 gallon if necessary. They may realize the pointlessnes of it soon.
The Feds used to be like that with liquor, and have even now lightened up.

09-05-2008, 11:49 AM
It's almost comical. They have a new supervisor and he came the other day for the first time. He actually wanted to put a cage around our flow counter. I told him that I use the line every day for other things than just transferring beer, it's part of the piping ring and eventually leads back to the kettle so I use it when CIPING my line, when brewing etc. What I'll do now (if they go ahead and install the cage) is turn off the power to the counter when I use the line, and they can turn it on when they need the counter during txfers. Pointless though since I could also tx any time with it off if I were so inclined. Whatever happened to presumed innocent? Must not apply down here.

09-05-2008, 11:48 PM
Which government agency is this? Sounds like 30 year old obsolete BATF rules.

09-06-2008, 07:52 AM
It's these (http://www.hacienda.gobierno.pr/) guys. Among the many things I have to do, I will now include making visits to them and trying to come up with an alternative way of doing this. The owner has said he will do this, but everything takes a long time around here and ultimately the one inconvenienced the most is yours truly....Of course if some beer runs out on a weekend then it may motivate the establishment. As you know it's hard to predict when a tank will empty, if it does so on the weekend then I could add a barrel or two into the tank to hold over into the work week but I have no desire to break the law. So until this issue is resolved I will do just what you mentioned above and have them come in on a Friday to witness a 1 barrel transfer if I need to ensure the tank doesn't empty.

09-06-2008, 10:24 AM
Maybe if you sent a few cases of beer their way it would soften them up. I don't know how it works in PR, but in some other countries I have been in outside the US it seems nothing ever gets done unless the wheels get a little grease. Sad to say but it might be part of the local custom, culture there.

Larry Doyle
09-06-2008, 01:42 PM
In the USA ,huge breweries may be visited by the tax people only once every few years.
It seems your tax person is inexperienced. Bend over backwards to make him/her educated in your process and enlist their aid in coming up with a simple solution with the emphasis on simple.
Also, to show your good faith you might offer to supply a few cases of "samples" on a monthly basis. It should be understood that these are "lab samples" and not a bribe. Their lab analysis will most definitely include taste tests.