Alcohol & Tobacco Tax Bureau

TTB is an agency of the Treasury Department

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, known as the TTB, collects federal excise taxes on alcohol, tobacco, guns and ammunition. It also regulates the marketing of those products.


The Homeland Security Act of 2002 split the old Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) into two agencies. The ATF retained its law enforcement powers and became part of the Justice Department; its taxation and regulatory duties were transferred to the new TTB, part of the Treasury Department.


The TTB employs about 600 people, most of them in Washington, D.C., and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Tax Collections

TTB collects about $17 billion a year in excise taxes. In fiscal 2008, the breakdown was roughly 56 percent alcohol taxes, 42 percent tobacco taxes and 2 percent firearms taxes.

Tax Rates

Tax rates for alcoholic beverages depend on the type of product and its alcohol content. Tobacco taxes are assessed either per unit–such as for cigarettes, cigars or rolling papers — or by weight. Guns are taxed at a percentage of the sale price: for handguns, 10 percent; for long guns and ammo, 11 percent.

Alcohol Advertising

The agency fields consumer complaints about alcohol advertising and examines ads brought to its attention. It does not automatically pre-screen all ads but will review spots at the request of the advertiser.

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