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Records to be Kept by Owners and Distributors of Alcoholic Beverages

Tax Bulletin AB-770 (TB-AB-770)

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Issue Date: October 16, 2012


If you’re an owner, brand owner, or distributor of alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, and liquor), you must keep complete and accurate records of all purchases, sales, or other dispositions of alcoholic beverages.


An owner is any person selling or offering alcoholic beverages for sale at retail.

A brand owner includes any person who is a manufacturer of any liquor or wine for which a brand or trade name label has been registered with and approved by the New York State Liquor Authority.

A manufacturer includes a distiller, importer, vintner, or rectifier.

Recordkeeping requirements

You must keep an accurate record of all purchases, sales, or other dispositions of alcoholic beverages. Records must also include the number of gallons of beer produced, manufactured, brewed, or fermented, and the number of gallons of wine and liters of liquor produced, distilled, manufactured, compounded, mixed, or fermented.

You must date and keep all of your records in good order for at least three years, and your records must be available for inspection at any time.

Distributors of alcoholic beverages and noncommercial importers must file tax returns. For a definition of a distributor of alcoholic beverages and noncommercial importer and filing requirements, see Tax Bulletins:

If you transport alcoholic beverages within New York, you must keep accurate records. For more information, see Tax Bulletin Manifest Document Requirements for Transporters of Alcoholic Beverages (TB-AB-555).

Consequences of inadequate records

If your records are inadequate, you may be subject to civil and criminal penalties. For more information, see Tax Bulletins:

Note: A Tax Bulletin is an informational document designed to provide general guidance in simplified language on a topic of interest to taxpayers. It is accurate as of the date issued. However, taxpayers should be aware that subsequent changes in the Tax Law or its interpretation may affect the accuracy of a Tax Bulletin. The information provided in this document does not cover every situation and is not intended to replace the law or change its meaning.