Singapore's Alcohol Tax (Updated 2023)

Taxes & Duties on Liquor

Every country has its own set of duties and taxes imposed on liquor, different countries have varying regulations and tax structures in place, which can significantly affect the cost of alcoholic beverages. In this article, we will focus on Singapore and compare its liquor duties and taxes with those of the top 5 countries known for their higher rates. Let's delve into the numbers and explore how this translates in terms of cost for the consumers.

How to calculate liquor tax in Singapore?

As of June 2023, this is how Singapore calculates the duty rates on alcoholic products.:

Duties payable = Total quantity in litres x Customs and/or excise duty rate x Percentage of alcoholic strength

The duty rate for whiskies for example is S$88.00 per litre of alcohol. Using a bottle of Glenfiddich 12 Years as an example, the alcohol tax for this bottle can be calculated as 0.7L x S$88.00 x 40% = S$24.64.

Singapore charges duties based on the percentage of alcoholic strength and not on the total value of the bottle like many other countries. Other additional costs that adds to the cost of your bottle is the duty on Cost, Insurance & Freight and a Good and Services Tax (GST) of 8%. Information obtained from Singapore customs site.

What countries have the highest tax on liquor?

Tax rates can vary based on the type of alcohol (spirits, wine, beer). The countries known for their relatively high liquor taxes: Australia, Canada, UK, Ireland & Scandinavian countries.

Some of the highest in alcohol tax percentages are Hungary (27%), Croatia (25%), Denmark (25%), Norway (25%) and Sweden (25%).

Singapore's taxes on liquor compared to other countries

Liquor is taxed differently in different parts of the world thus it is difficult to say for sure that Singapore's taxes is higher or lower than another country. However, since Singapore charges taxes based on the percentage of alcoholic strength, this means that bottom shelf spirits like Jameson and Jim Beam will cost higher than in the US; for example where a bottle of Jim Beam can cost only S$15, it will cost around S$45-50 in Singapore!

This price difference is less substantial in bottles of higher value since the liquor taxes aren't based on the retail price of the bottle. Overall, whilst alcohol tax is rather pricey in Singapore, it is considered as moderate when compared internationally.


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