When I think of my favorite brewery, it is an image of laughter with friends, a relaxed atmosphere, and a great IPA. Unfortunately, the picture gets destroyed when I look at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (“TTB”) website (www.ttb.gov/beer). It is not a laughing matter, but it doesn’t have to ruin the party with proper preparation and planning.

As an auditor, I do not want to talk about compliance. I want to enjoy my beer! But even my favorite IPA can’t always turn off my mind when it comes to my favorite brewery. With every business, there are laws and regulations, and that means compliance on some level.

For breweries, the TTB has a section of their website titled, “Common Compliance and Tax Issues Found During Brewery Audit.” It is always helpful to learn from others’ mistakes and not be the example on the website. These common issues cover the categories of records, production, and inventory, taxes, and reporting.

Compliance success insights include:

  • process tracking and data capture to record movement,
  • compliance checklists to make sure you think about:
    • tax rates,
    • tax filings (excise taxes), and
    • conversion factors.

It is crucial to have a knowledgeable and qualified advisor work with you to ensure your business processes and systems support compliance.