You’ll soon have to fork over a few more cents at the LCBO this April thanks to Canada’s Alcohol tax hike. Here’s what you should know about the increase and how much you could expect in stores.
Starting on April 1st, 2023, the federal excise tax on alcohol will rise by 6.3%. The hike will apply to all liquor including wine, beer, and spirits. This tax is raised annually based on inflation, but this year is the largest increase that Canada has seen in 40 years.
Thar means you’ll see some prices go up at your local liquor store this spring.
As previously mentioned by the LCBO in a statement to Curiocity, “suppliers set their own pricing and have the option to adjust their pricing up or down throughout the year in response to currency fluctuations, federal taxes or freight rate changes, or price changes by their competitors.”
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“Therefore, any retail price increases are on a product-by-product basis and determined by beverage alcohol producers.”
That being said, according to the Liquor board, customers may experience a price increase on some products by the end of April due to the tax. For example, a 750ml bottle of wine or an imported six-pack of beer may see an increase of 5 to 10 cents while a 750ml spirit (40% alc) may increase by 70 cents.
Restaurants Canada had voiced its concerns, saying that the hospitality industry can’t afford a “hit of $750 million” as a result of the hike. They asked the feds to freeze the tax at its current rate to “avoid adding to the financial burdens of the food service and hospitality industry and mitigate the risk of losing more Canadian businesses.”
However, unless there’s a change announced before the federal budget is revealed on March 28, we would see the tax increase in effect as of next week.
Looks like you’ll have to start saving those extra few cents for your next LCBO trip.