By Jeffrey Giametta

Approximately 483 federal employees that work for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) have dutifully reported to work today “for the orderly shutdown of TTB.” We have all heard how that the inability of Congress to pass a spending bill is creating a shutdown of the federal government, but what does that really mean for us in the alcohol beverage industry?

 Well, during the shutdown you won’t be able to file any COLAs, permits or formulas online. Also, if you have any of those types of applications pending with TTB they will be placed on hold and will not be processed any further during the shutdown. 

But don’t worry – if you want to file your tax return and you owe excise taxes, TTB will accommodate you during the shutdown. They will remain staffed to process such returns. 

TTB’s website posted a special notification today that says they will suspend all “non-excepted operations.” No personnel will be available to respond to any inquiries, and there will be no accessto TTB’s eGovernment applications, such as Permits Online, Formulas Online, and COLAs online.
The shutdown will encompass all of TTB’s core mission business with the exception of those activities required to ensure that all tax collection remittances are processed, government property is secured and preserved, and criminal enforcement activities continue. At the time of this shutdown only 35 of those 483 employees work in positions that perform those “excepted activities.”  
All of TTBs operations will fully resume when appropriations are reenacted – TTB promises “once funding has been restored, and the government shutdown is over, we will work to restore regular service as soon as possible.” To get an idea of when that might happen, we’ll all have to keep an eye on the news coming out of D.C. 
The entire TTB Shutdown Plan can be read here.