Untangling the complex world of wine direct shipping and compliance
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    Application forms to direct ship wine to Michigan are now available!

    March 31st, 2006
    By Annie Bones, State Relations - Wine Institute

    Michigan�s direct shipping application process appears to be very straightforward (at least compared to other forms I have read through recently). Wineries who wish to ship wine directly to Michigan consumers must complete the Michigan Liquor Control Commission�s (MLCC) Direct Shipper Application, pay the $100 permit fee and register with the Michigan Department of Treasury. Wineries can register with the Department of Treasury by completing Sales/Use Tax Registration Form 518. All forms can be found by going to Wine Institute�s Direct Shipping web site at www.wineinstitute.org/shipwine/ and selecting Michigan under the State Shipping Laws section.

    Michigan will begin issuing Direct Shipper Permits on April 1, 2006. Wineries who submit their applications after April 1 will have to wait about two weeks for their applications to be processed. Once a winery has received their approved Direct Shipper Permit it must register their brands. A password will be sent with the approved Direct Shipper Application that allows the winery to logon to the Michigan website www.michigan.gov/cis/ and register their brands. If registering online isn�t for you or your computer just exploded it is also possible to register brands by sending the information in via U.S. mail.

    Okay, you have your license and registered the brands. It�s time to sell your wine, but make sure you only sell wines to consumers whose age has been verified as being 21 or older. Age can be verified by obtaining a copy of the consumer�s photo ID or by using an Age Verification Service, such as ChoicePoint.

    Wineries must pay a 6% sales tax on all direct shipments. Sales Tax payments will be due either monthly, quarterly or annually. The payment schedule is determined by your estimated total sales. Wineries are also responsible for submitting the Michigan Wine Tax Report and payment of excise taxes quarterly. This is a little confusing because the Michigan Wine Tax Report has instructions to be filed monthly � ignore the instructions � the form has not been updated since the new law passed.

    I hope the application process goes smoothly for you. I know there are a lot of Michigan consumers anxiously awaiting their shipments!

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