Liquor Tax

Liquor Tax

Nevada’s Liquor Tax, also known as the Liquor Excise Tax, is applied to the sale of alcoholic beverages within the state. This tax is important for supporting state and local government initiatives, while also serving regulatory functions.

Renewal Reminder to Certificate of Compliance Licensees:

Pursuant to NRS 369.310(2): If the licensee does not pay the license fees before July 15 of each year, the license may be cancelled by the Department. Between July 15 and July 31 of each year, the fee may be paid with a penalty of 5 percent added to such fee. If the fee and penalty are not paid by July 31 of each year, the license shall be cancelled automatically.

Certificate of Compliance license renewal forms must also be received by July 15, to avoid cancellation of the license.

Nevada's Liquor Excise Tax is part of a regulatory framework designed to manage the distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages using a three-tier system.

This system ensures that each level of distribution—from supplier to consumer—is clearly defined to maintain compliance with state laws.

The three tier system is structured as follows:

  1. Suppliers / Certificate of Compliance Holders can only ship/sell to Nevada importers, holders of a permissible person permit, and/or directly to Nevada consumers.
  2. Retailers must purchase only from Wholesalers (NRS 369.487) and may not legally purchase for resale from other Retailers or directly from Suppliers.
  3. Importers/Wholesalers can only sell to retailers and other Importers/Wholesalers and not to the public or at the retail level.

Transporting, Importing, and Storing Liquor/Alcohol:

  1. Transportation of alcoholic beverages into the state of Nevada may only be done by a licensed common carrier, regularly operating contract carrier, or licensed Nevada Importer/Wholesaler who has a special permit for the transporting vehicle.
  2. Importation of alcoholic beverages into Nevada must be made to the licensed Importer/Wholesaler warehouse and to no other place.
  3. Wholesale liquor business and storage must be conducted only from a licensed Importer/wholesaler warehouse.”

Liquor License Application.

  • Who is it for? This application is required for Entities that want to obtain a liquor license in Nevada. The Liquor License Application is governed by specific requirements outlined under Senate Bill No. 22 (SB 22) and NRS 369.190, amended as of October 1, 2015.

Liquor Surety Bond Acknowledgement

  • Who is it for? The bond provides a financial guarantee to the state that the licensee will adhere to the regulatory requirements, including the payment of taxes and fees.

Liquor Wholesaler Designation and Acceptance Form

  • Who is it for? This form ensures that all transactions involving the import and wholesale distribution of alcoholic beverages in Nevada are properly documented and managed through licensed entities.

Liquor Excise Tax Return

  • Who is it for? Licensed importers and wholesalers of intoxicating liquor are required to file monthly returns reporting their activity.

Common Carriers Report

  • Who is it for? This report is completed by common or contract carriers handling interstate shipments of alcoholic beverages into Nevada.

Supplier Report of Shipments of Alcoholic Beverages into Nevada

  • Who is it for? This form is required to report shipments of alcoholic beverages to designated Nevada importers/wholesalers.

Supplier Liquor Excise Tax Report Sales to Consumers.

  • Who is it for? This form is required for suppliers to report direct shipments of wine to Nevada consumers. Effective July 1, 2021.

Application for Certificate of Compliance

  • Who is it for? This form is required for out-of-state alcohol manufacturers or distributors who intend to sell or distribute their products within Nevada. Read the instructions and requirements.

Notice of Civil Infraction

  • Who is it for? This form is used by law enforcement to formally report violations of alcohol training requirements by retail liquor establishments.


Suppliers/Certificate of Compliance Holders

  • A $50 license fee is due upon initial application-for-the Certificate-of-Compliance, along with a $50 per year annual renewal fee and a copy of the Federal Basic Permit issued by the Department of Treasury - TTB. The certificate is renewed by July 1 of each calendar year. See NRS 369.430.
  • Once the Certificate of Compliance license is received, a Liquor Wholesaler Designation and Acceptance Form must be filed with the Department.
  • Suppliers are required to file, by the 10th of each month, a report listing all invoice numbers and the total gallons of beer, wine and/or liquor for shipments made to Nevada importer/wholesalers for the previous month.
  • A person engaged in the business of manufacturing, blending or bottling of alcoholic beverage shall not engage in the business of importing, wholesaling or retailing by investment, loan or extension of credit. See NRS 597.210.

Permissible Persons Permits

  • All liquor or alcohol of any type shipped from outside the State of Nevada must first be received by a Nevada licensed importer/wholesaler. The exception to this rule is a holder of a permissible persons permit. This covers persons or representatives of any institution, school, hospital or church desiring to import liquor or alcohol for industrial, medical, scientific or sacramental purposes. Such use does not include social beverage consumption. See NRS 369.390, NRS 369.340 and NRS 369.070.
  • Persons desiring a permissible person permit must apply to the Department. Permits are issued on a fiscal year basis and are renewed upon written request.


  • Persons applying for a license to import and wholesale alcoholic beverages into Nevada must first have a warehouse located within the state. To obtain a Nevada importer or wholesaler license, the licensee must agree to maintain warehouse space sufficient to store $1,000 worth of product, based on acquisition cost. Additionally, each importer must maintain at all times alcoholic beverage with a wholesale value of at least $1,000. See NRS 369.400.
  • Persons desiring to become licensed importer/wholesaler shall request an application from the Department. The application and check must be payable to the Department of Taxation (amount based on license being applied for and pro-rated quarterly) and will be submitted to their county commissioners for approval. If approved, the county will forward the application and check to the Department of Taxation for final approval. A certified copy of the fictitious firm name certificate must accompany the application, as well as the minimum security bond requirement on the State of Nevada Surety Bond form (BND-SUR-01.01). See NRS 369.190 and NRS 602.010.

Annual Fees Pursuant to NRS 369.300:

ANNUAL FEES (RS 369.300) Fee Amount
Importation of beer $150
Wholesale of beer $75
Importation of beer, wine and liquor $500
Wholesale of beer, wine and liquor $250
Wine-maker's license $75
Brewer's license $75
Brew-pub license $75

Bonding Requirements Pursuant to NRS 369.350:

Beer only $10,000
Beer, wine and liquor $50,000
Brewer or winemaker $1,000

 Importer/wholesalers cannot, under the three-tier system, be involved in any of the following (see NRS 369.485):

  • Loaning of money or anything else of value to a retailer.
  • Investing of money, directly or indirectly, in a retail store.
  • Furnishing or providing premises, buildings, bar or equipment to retailers.
  • Participation, directly or indirectly, in the operation of a retail liquor store.

The licensed importer pays the excise tax on all alcoholic beverages (see NRS 369.330). Excise tax rates per gallon are as shown in the table below:

Malt beverage $0.16
0.5% to 14% $0.70
14.1% to 22% $1.30
22.1% to 80% $3.60

Excise Tax rates per gallon:

  • Excise taxes imposed are due and payable on or before the 20th day of the following month (NRS 369.370). If the tax is not paid by the date due, a penalty of 10 percent and interest at the rate of 0.75 percent per month from the date due until paid, is also due. If taxes are paid on or before the 15th day of the following month, a 0.25 percent discount may be taken by the taxpayer.
  • The Department may, for good cause, extend for not more than 15 days from the date due, if a request for such an extension is received by the Department on or before the due date. If an extension is granted, interest will accrue from the original due date.


  • Retail liquor store operators should be advised to consult city or county clerks regarding licensing requirements.
  • Other than sales and use tax obligations, the Department of Taxation is not involved in the licensing of retail liquor establishments.

Common Carriers: Every common carrier and every regularly operating contract carrier shall make available to the Department a statement or freight bill for every shipment of liquor into this state, showing:

  • The names of the consignor, consignee and carrier of the shipment.
  • The date when and place where the shipment was received.
  • The destination of the shipment.


Definitions of Key Terms

  • Liquor (NRS 369.040): Defined as any liquid containing 0.5% or more of alcohol by volume and used for beverage purposes.
  • Supplier/Certificate of Compliance Holders (NRS 369.111, 369.430): Refers to out-of-state vendors authorized to ship liquor to Nevada importers/wholesalers and directly to Nevada consumers. They can ship up to 1 gallon of alcoholic beverages per month or 12 cases of wine per year directly to consumers for personal use, under a valid certificate of compliance.
  • Importers (NRS 369.030): The first entity to possess alcohol in Nevada following its importation, responsible for receiving shipments from suppliers.
  • Wholesalers (NRS 369.130): A licensed individual or business that sells liquor to retail stores or other wholesalers within Nevada but is prohibited from selling directly to consumers.
  • Retail Liquor Stores (NRS 369.090): Any business establishment such as a tavern, lounge, package sales store, restaurant, or grocery store, where alcoholic beverages are sold directly to the public.


The following are the most common taxpayer errors made with regard to the collection, reporting and payment of Liquor Excise Taxes:

  • Taking the 0.25 percent early payment allowance when not applicable. If the tax return is postmarked after the 15th of the month, the discount is not allowed.
  • Not taking the 0.25 percent early payment allowance when applicable. If the tax return is postmarked on or before the 15th of the month the taxpayer is entitled to a 0.25 percent early payment allowance.
  • Paying the liquor excise taxes late. The liquor excise taxes are due on or before the 20th day of the month following the importation of the alcoholic beverage and/or the manufacture of the alcoholic beverages, whichever is applicable. If the taxes are paid on the 21st or later, the taxes are subject to a 10 percent penalty, and interest at the rate of 0.75 percent per month.
  • Not submitting required documentation to support the tax return. Importer/Wholesalers are required to provide a listing of the suppliers with their certificate of compliance numbers from whom they purchased alcoholic beverages, the date of purchase, invoice number and total gallons purchased. Not filling out credit forms with attached documentation for credit allowed for breakage, export and sales to the military or airlines.
  • Nevada manufacturers brew pubs, wineries and breweries are required to submit copies of their federal excise tax returns as documentation to support the payment of the Nevada liquor excise tax on monthly production.
  • All liquor excise taxes can also be paid online; however, the tax returns must be submitted to the Carson City Office. At this time, excise tax returns cannot be completed online.
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