If you’ve always wondered about the tax consequences of opening a bottle of wine in Europe, today’s map gives you some insight.
As you would expect, southern European countries known for their wines, such as France, Greece, Portugal and Spain, either don’t tax them or at a very low rate. However, as you travel north, you will see countries that have a tendency to levy taxes on wine – and often high taxes.
While 13 of the countries surveyed impose an excise tax on wine, they do so at very different rates. Ireland has the highest wine tax at € 3.19 ($ 3.63) per standard size (0.75 liter or 0.20 gallon) bottle of wine. Finland and the United Kingdom follow with € 3.16 ($ 3.60) and € 2.51 ($ 2.86), respectively.
Of the countries that have a wine tax, the lowest rate is found in a country known for its wine: France, which has a very low tax of € 0.03 (0.03) per bottle. Malta (€ 0.15 or $ 0.18) and Poland (€ 0.29 or $ 0.33) tax wine at the second and third lowest rates.
All European countries covered also levy a value added tax (VAT) on wine, which is levied on the sales value of the wine bottle. The consumption tax amounts shown on the map relate only to consumption taxes and do not include VAT.
|country||Excise duty per standard size wine bottle (0.75 liters or 0.20 gallons)|
|Belgium (BE)||€ 0.56||$ 0.64|
|Czech Republic (CZ)||–||–|
|Denmark (DK)||€ 1.13||$ 1.29|
|Estonia (EE)||€ 1.11||$ 1.26|
|Finland||€ 3.16||$ 3.60|
|France (FR)||€ 0.03||$ 0.03|
|Ireland (IE)||€ 3.19||$ 3.63|
|Latvia (LV)||€ 0.83||$ 0.95|
|Lithuania (LT)||€ 1.24||$ 1.41|
|Malta (MT)||€ 0.15||$ 0.18|
|Netherlands (NL)||€ 0.66||$ 0.76|
|Poland (PL)||€ 0.29||$ 0.33|
|Sweden (SE)||€ 1.87||$ 2.14|
|United Kingdom (GB)||€ 2.51||$ 2.86|
Source: European Commission, “Taxes in Europe Database”, accessed on July 23, 2021, https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/tedb/splSearchForm.html; and Gov.uk, “Tax on Shopping and Services: Alcohol and Tobacco Taxes”, https://www.gov.uk/tax-on-shopping/alcohol-tobacco.
Note: some countries have different excise duties on wines with very low and / or very high alcohol content. The average exchange rate of the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for 2020 was used to convert euros into dollars (1 USD = 0.877 EUR).
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