Comptroller of Maryland. Serving the People. Peter Franchot, Comptroller
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Alcohol Tax Information

The License and Registration Unit issues licenses and permits, maintains automated credit control information for the alcohol industry, and promotes fair trade practices in accordance with the law. The License and Registration Unit also provides online verification of licenses and permits.

The Processing Control Section is responsible for reviewing, processing and verifying all alcohol reports that are required to be submitted to the Comptroller's office.

An alcoholic beverage is defined as a product fit for beverage purposes and contains ½ of 1 percent of alcohol by volume or greater.  This equals 1 proof.  Alcoholic beverages include beer, distilled spirits and wine. The minimum age to buy or possess alcoholic beverages is 21 years of age.

Below are the current excise taxes for alcohol,

Distilled Spirits

$1.50 per gallon


$ .40 per gallon

Beer and Cider

$ .09 per gallon

Five 750 ml. bottles equals one gallon


Manufacturing Alcohol

You may manufacture beer and wine on private premises for personal use, not for sale. If you reside in St. Mary’s County, you may also manufacture and sell wine. The Comptroller is authorized to issue a beer and wine facility permit for individuals to make beer and wine at a commercial facility for home consumption.

You can only manufacture or blend distilled spirits on premises licensed under Maryland law. In addition, you cannot possess, buy, sell, or manufacture any materials or equipment used or intended for use in connection with the unlawful manufacture of distilled spirits.

Working and Alcoholic Beverages

Counties dictate the age requirement, so the age may vary based on the county where the retail establishment resides; but, in general, a person under the age of 21 may not be employed in the serving or selling of alcoholic beverages. A person of at least 18 years of age may stock shelves and perform other related duties; they, however, cannot serve or sell alcohol. See Article 2B, 12-302; Criminal Law, CL 10-114 and Article 2B, Section 12-302 for specifics.

Travelling and Alcoholic Beverages

Generally, up to one gallon (4 quarts) per trip is legal. One quart per trip is tax exempt. The remaining three quarts are taxed in Maryland. Only two quarts are tax exempt per calendar month.

From within the United States

One quart, tax-free

From Guam, American Samoa, and U.S. Virgin Islands

One gallon, tax-free

From outside the United States

One gallon; one quart, tax-free (the remaining three quarts are taxed.)

Five 750 ml. bottles equals one gallon



Alcohol cannot be shipped to you, except nationally sold wine whereby you must make arrangements to ship the wine to you through a Maryland wholesaler, using a Direct Wine Sellers Permit. Internationally, no alcohol may be shipped to you, including wine. See Article 2B, Section 16-506 and Section 7.5-104.

When relocating, the alcohol is considered a household good. You must obtain a Change of Domicile Permit by completing Form COM RAD 328. There is no limit on the amount of alcohol shipping into the state.

See Tax-General Article, Section 5-104 and Administrative Release AB-1, for more information.


Links for Tax Information
Business Tax Types
Alcohol Tax
Tax Information
  Tax Rates
  Tax Regulations
  Direct Wine Shipment
  Frequently Asked Questions
  Motor Fuel-Alcohol-Tobacco Tax Tips
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