Bulletin
Published: July 2010
Content last reviewed: February 2022

Certain purchases of liquor are subject to consumer taxes. The taxes, called 'beer, wine and spirits taxes' are administered by the Ministry of Finance.

Ontario beer manufacturers including microbrewers will collect amounts equal to the beer taxes. The amounts are included in the price charged to the licensed establishments by their suppliers. As a licensed establishment you will not be required to remit the taxes directly to the Province. However, as the taxes are included in your selling price you must make information available to your patrons about the beer taxes included in the price they have paid.

Other key aspects about the beer, wine and spirits taxes that licensed establishments should know about include:

  • Spirits and wine (and their respective coolers) sold by licensed establishments are not subject to the beer, wine and spirits taxes since they are subject to Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) mark ups.
    This includes:
    • Spirits and wine (and their respective coolers) purchased from the LCBO
    • Spirits and wine (and their respective coolers) purchased from a distillery or winery retail store under the LCBO's Direct Delivery program.
  • Not all beer sold by licensed establishments is subject to the beer taxes since it is subject to LCBO mark ups. Examples of product subject to mark ups include:
    • beer purchased from the LCBO
    • beer purchased from The Beer Store that is not made by an Ontario beer manufacturer.
  • Beer manufactured in Ontario and purchased from The Beer Store or a brewer's retail store have amounts equal to the beer taxes included in the licensee purchase price. The beer taxes are included in the Ontario-manufactured beer that you sell to consumers.

The following table shows the beer taxes that may be included in a typical glass, bottle or can of beer made by an Ontario manufacturer you sell in your establishment. [*]

586 mL glass (on tap); 341 mL bottle; 355 mL can.

Period March 12, 2018 to February 28, 2023
TypeVolumeBeer manufacturer brands
(e.g., large national brands)
Microbrewer brands
(e.g., small Ontario craft brewer brands)
Glass (on tap)586ml53¢31¢
Bottle341ml37¢20¢
Can355ml47¢29¢

Although amounts equal to the beer taxes are collected and remitted to the Ministry of Finance by beer manufacturers, as a licensed establishment you can apply for a refund of the beer taxes for verifiable product loss (e.g., beer destroyed in the course of a fire) or bad debt (e.g., an unpaid balance of the beer taxes resulting from a bankrupt client).

For more information, contact the Ministry of Finance at 1 866 ONT-TAXS (1 866 668-8297).

Footnotes:

[*]Calculations have been rounded to the nearest cent.