Tax-Included Pricing and Requirements for Spirits Manufacturers

Subsection 65(2) of the Alcohol and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, 1996 (the act) states that spirits manufacturers (distillers) that sell spirits from Ontario distillery retail stores must make available to purchasers, by an approved method, information with respect to the amount of taxes included in the price. This page addresses this requirement as well as the approved methods of providing such information.

For the purposes of this page 'spirits' includes 'spirits coolers'.

This page provides general information. It is not exhaustive and does not replace the law found in the Alcohol and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, 1996, and related regulations.

Not all spirits sold in Ontario are subject to the spirits taxes

Although the retail price (i.e., purchases at a retail store and not licensed establishments) of a particular spirits is the same whether it is purchased at a Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) store or one of its agency stores or at a distillery retail store in Ontario, the spirits taxes do not apply to all spirits sold in Ontario.

For example:

Spirits purchased from the LCBO or from a person who purchased from the LCBO are not subject to the spirits tax, nor are spirits purchased at a licensed establishment. Only spirits purchased at an Ontario distillery retail store are subject to the spirits taxes.

Tax-included pricing requirements

Distillers that sell spirits from Ontario distillery retail stores shall also make available to purchasers such information with respect to the amount of the spirits taxes included in the price as the Minister specifies and by a method approved by the Minister.

Information with respect to the amount of taxes included in the price: Spirits taxes contained in invoices

Where invoice is issued by distiller

Distillers that sell spirits from their distillery retail store may provide the amount of the spirits taxes payable on the spirits sold to purchasers on the invoices issued to purchasers.

Where invoice is not issued by distiller

Where an invoice is not provided detailing the amount of spirits taxes payable, the following section outlines the information that distillers that sell spirits from their distillery retail store must provide to customers and the method of providing that information.

Information with respect to the amount of taxes included in the price: Spirits taxes not contained in invoices

Ministry policy

The ministry has approved the following as meeting the requirements of subsection 65(2) of the act in specifying the information with respect to the amount of taxes included in the price that must be made available to purchasers and the method of providing the information.

Distillers that sell spirits from their distillery retail store must post in a prominent location where the spirits is sold, or provide to purchasers, an information sheet specifying:

  • the current spirits tax rates (basic, volume and environmental) applicable to spirits and spirits coolers
  • information on how the retail price of the spirits is determined under the act, and
  • a reference to the ministry's website at ontario.ca/finance for further information.

Information sheet for distillers approved by the ministry: Spirits Tax Information Sheet - Effective July 1, 2017

Request for written interpretations

If this information does not completely address your particular situation, refer to the act and related regulations, or contact the ministry at:

Ministry of Finance
Advisory Services
33 King Street West, 3rd Floor
Oshawa ON L1H 1A1

Fax: 905‑436‑4471

For more information

Visit ontario.ca/finance or contact the Ministry of Finance at 1‑866‑ONT‑TAXS (1‑866‑668‑8297) or 1‑800‑263‑7776 for teletypewriter (TTY). The Alcohol and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, 1996, and Ontario's other public statutes and regulations may be obtained online at ontario.ca/e laws.

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