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Abandoned Beverage Container Deposits

Special Instructions: Effective July 1, 2022, Act 177 changed the tax administration and distribution for ready to drink (RTD) spirits beverages. These products are now distributed through private sector retail outlets rather than through the Department of Liquor and Lottery, Division of Liquor Control (DLC). As a result, the beverage container deposit amount on RTD spirits beverages has changed from $0.15 per container to $0.05 per container.
There is a six (6) month transition period through December 31, 2022, to allow manufacturers and distributors time to change the labeling on such containers and move stock acquired before this change. Effective July 1, 2022, deposit initiators collect $0.05 from retailers on all RTD spirits beverages regardless of the label on the container. During this transition period, however, some RTD spirits beverages containers may be returned and reimbursed at the $0.15 deposit rate if labelled as such.
There will be an additional line on form ABD-614, Abandoned Beverage Deposit Remittance for the July 1–September 30, 2022, period, and the October 1–December 31, 2022, periods to accommodate any returns and reimbursements at $0.15 deposit rate. Please note that effective July 1, 2022, deposit initiators collect $0.05 from retailers on all RTD spirits beverages regardless of the label on the container . If you have questions about this change, please contact the Business Tax Department at (802) 828-2551 or tax.business@vermont.gov.

Tracking, Reporting, and Paying Unclaimed Bottle Deposits

A beverage container is considered abandoned when deposits collected exceed deposits returned. Remittance of unclaimed deposits is required at the end of each quarter. However, if a deposit initiator refunds more than they receive in deposits in a given quarter, they may receive a refund, not to exceed the amount they have remitted in the previous four quarters.

Act 208 of 2019 authorizes the State of Vermont to recapture unclaimed beverage container deposits from deposit initiators. The unclaimed deposits will be sent to the Clean Water Fund.

Deposit Initiator

The deposit initiator is the first distributor or manufacturer to collect the deposit on a beverage container sold to any person in Vermont. The deposit initiator is responsible for filing and remitting.

Deposit initiators must be registered with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) before they can file the quarterly report electronically and are required to pay any amount due to the state electronically. If you, the deposit initiator do not have a registration ID, please visit the Department of Environmental Conservation's website to register your company.

How to File

Deposit Initiators may file electronically each quarter with myVTax. When filing electronically use myVTax form ABD-614, Abandoned Beverage Container Deposit Remittance. Filings will be due on the 25 of each month after the end of the quarter (January, April, July, October), in line with other quarterly tax filings to the Department of Taxes.

Due Dates

Report Period Ending Due Date
December 31, 2022 January 25, 2023
March 31, 2023 April 25, 2023
June 30, 2023 July 25, 2023
September 30, 2023 October 25, 2023
December 31, 2023 January 25, 2024

Forms and Instructions

Number Instructions Title
ABD-614 - File your return with myVTax Instructions Abandoned Beverage Container Deposit Remittance

Publications and Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I be able to subtract handling fees and other expenses from my company’s remittance?

Only abandoned deposits are covered under this statute. Deposit initiators must report all containers sold and redeemed and cannot retain any portion of the unclaimed deposits to cover expenses. 


What types of beverage containers are covered under Vermont’s beverage redemption system and subject to deposit and remittance of unclaimed deposits?

All brands of beer or other malt beverages and mineral waters, mixed wine drinks, soda water, and carbonated soft drinks are covered under Vermont’s beverage container redemption deposit law. A deposit must be initiated by that product’s manufacturer or distributor, charged to the consumer, paid to the consumer for each container redeemed at a retailer or redemption center, and then paid by the deposit initiator to the retailer or redemption center operator.

Liquor is also a covered beverage under the law, but the Department of Liquor Control initiates all deposits for liquor containers and will continue to retain unclaimed deposits for department use under statute.


When does remittance of abandoned beverage deposits take effect? What is the first deadline for remittance of deposits?

The first quarter for which deposits must be tracked and remitted if unclaimed is October-December 2019. The first due date for filing and remittance is January 27, 2020.


How often and when do deposit initiators have to file?

Filings will be due on the 25th of each month after the end of the quarter (January, April, July, October), in line with other quarterly tax filings to the Department of Taxes.


What do deposit initiators need to report?

Deposit initiators will need to report the number of containers sold and the number of containers redeemed during the quarter that has just ended.

Deposit initiators must provide their Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) registration ID. If the initiator is not yet registered with ANR, this should be done before filing.


Are there penalties for failure to remit?

Yes, deposit initiators who do not file quarterly, or who provide false or inaccurate information may be subject to penalties.


What if more deposits are redeemed than were collected in that quarter?

If a deposit initiator refunds more than they are paid in deposits in a given quarter, they may receive a refund not to exceed the amount they have remitted in the previous four quarters.


Will my sales data be shared with the public?

Data will only be shared in an aggregated form that does not identify individual deposit initiators.

Other Assessment Forms and Instructions

Number Instructions Title
ABD-614

File using myVTax

Instructions

Abandoned Beverage Container Deposit Remittance
HC-1, WHT-436 Instructions Quarterly Withholding Reconciliation and Health Care Contribution
HC-2   Declaration of Health Care Coverage
RCT-330 File using myVTax Railroad Corporate Tax Return Payment Voucher
RCT-331   Railroad Company Tax Return