The beer tax is a consumption tax regulated by federal law. The federal states are entitled to their revenue (2003: € 786 million). It is collected by the Federal Customs Administration. The subject of the beer tax is beer and mixtures of beer with non-alcoholic beverages with reference to certain items in the customs tariff. Non-alcoholic beer is not included in the tax.
The amount of the tax depends on the original wort content of the beer, measured in degrees Plato and on the total annual production of the brewery. The standard tax rate is currently € 0.787 per degree of Plato per hectolitre. The beer tax arises with the removal from the tax warehouse or with the withdrawal for consumption in the tax warehouse. Tax debtor is the tax warehouse keeper or, in the case of imports, the importer
The beer tax is one of the consumption taxes harmonized in the EU (transport and consumption taxes). A double burden arises because the beer tax in addition to the value added tax accrues (cascade effect).