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New liquor tax means good news for TABC certified seller-servers, but not so much for the customer

February 16, 2014
bartender pours mimosas

Hey all you TABC certified seller/servers: If you love it when customers tip on tax, then you’re going to love the TABC’s new tax rules that took effect in 2014.

Before this year, sales tax was only charged on beer and wine, but even then many restaurants and bars chose not to pass that on to the customer. Liquor, on the other hand, was handled slightly differently … The establishment had to pay 14% to the TABC. So how have things changed?

First, the 14% figure has been slashed to just 6.7%, which is a tremendous step forward in helping these companies succeed in such a low-margin business. Second, restaurant and bar owners are now allowed to pass an 8.25% liquor sales tax along to the customer. This doesn’t mean established must charge the tax, it simply gives them the option to be more transparent with customers about how much they’re paying for the drink versus tax.

TABC On The Fly is a state-approved provider of both online and on-site TABC certification.

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