Successful Start for Pennsylvania Direct-to-Consumer Program

Pennsylvania’s direct wine shipping program is off to a strong start. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has approved 375 direct wine shipper (DWS) licenses since they began accepting applications in early August. Licensees may ship up to 36 cases of their own wine to a Pennsylvania resident each calendar year. Prior to shipping any wine, the DWS licensee must obtain proof that the customer placing the order is at least 21 years of age, and are advised to employ a third-party age verification service to confirm the age of online purchasers. DWS licensees will be required to use an age verification service for direct wine shipments into Pennsylvania after Dec. 31, 2017.

DWS licensees will be required to annually report the total amount of wine shipped in each calendar year to the PLCB. Licenses must be renewed each calendar year at a cost of $250, but all licenses issued prior to the end of 2016 will not expire until Dec. 31, 2017.

Before applying for a Direct Wine Shipper license from PLCB, wineries must complete the online PA-100 Enterprise Registration form and obtain a sales tax license from the PA Department of Revenue. All direct shipments are subject to Pennsylvania’s 6% state sales tax, other local sales taxes in Pittsburg and Philadelphia, and a $2.50 per gallon wine excise tax. The shipping/freight charges to consumers are also subject to state and local sales taxes. Quarterly returns and payments of wine excise and sales taxes are due on the 20th of the month after the end of each quarter. Sales and excise tax returns must be filed even if no shipments were made during the reporting period.

Starting Oct. 1, 2016, DWS licensees can go to the PA Department of Revenue’s electronic filing system, E-Tides,to register their wine excise tax account and begin filing returns. There are few details about requirements for Direct Wine Shippers on the PLCB web site, but more information on the PA DWS licensing and taxes is on the Wine Institute direct shipping website under Pennsylvania.