The sparkling wine tax is a federally regulated consumption tax (traffic and consumption taxes). The sparkling wine tax covers sparkling wines with reference to certain items in the customs tariff. The previous distinction between sparkling wine, beverages considered sparkling wine and beverages similar to sparkling wine has been removed.
The sparkling wine tax was used in the First World War financing introduced by battleships. The legal basis for levying the sparkling wine tax is the 1992 Law on the Taxation of Sparkling Wine and Intermediate Products. The tax arises when the sparkling wine is removed from a tax warehouse or when it is removed for consumption in the tax warehouse.
The tax payer is the owner of the tax warehouse. The federal government is entitled to the revenue (2003: € 432 million) from the sparkling wine tax and is collected by the federal customs administration. With the implementation of the internal market on 1.1.1993, the sparkling wine tax was also harmonized (tax harmonization). However, uniform tax rates could not be achieved. A double tax on sparkling wines occurs because the sparkling wine tax is in addition to the value added tax accrues (cascade effect).