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5 Tips to Ease Year-End Reporting Blues

Each January, monthly, semi-annual and annual reporting periods for direct shippers collide for a perfect report storm. This year, for wineries that ship to all available states, 69 different direct shipping and tax reports are due—53% more than the average monthly load.

In 2009, direct shippers were required to submit a total of 722 direct shipping and tax reports, which includes 2 additional annual reports and 34 additional report submissions from new states that opened up this year. With currently available states, the total number of report submissions in 2010 will be 741.

Direct shippers can help ease the increased reporting burden with these steps:

  1. Start Early
    Many annual reports require detailed information not always stored with your order data, such as tracking numbers, dates of birth, and label identifiers (TTB IDs/COLA numbers). Gathering that information now and collating with shipments can only help reporting go more smoothly.
  2. Store Common Carrier & Tracking Numbers with your Orders
    In particular, Missouri’s Form 12 and Form 40 Direct Shipper Annual Report and Tax Computation require each tracking number to be listed with its respective shipment. Virginia requires the common carrier to be specified for all orders shipped to recipients within the state.
  3. Store Label IDs with Product Information
    For example, New York’s semi-annual report due in July and January requires the ‘TTB ID’ from the Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) of each bottle shipped to a consumer in New York.
  4. Collect and Store Date of Birth with Shipping Orders
    Wisconsin and Michigan require you to report the DOB of the purchaser and recipient of each shipment into their state. Michigan law states, “The person receiving and accepting the order on behalf of the direct shipper shall record the name, address, date of birth, and telephone number of the person placing the order…”
  5. Collect Orders & Submit Reports Electronically
    North Dakota, New York and Wisconsin now require you to submit your summary report and listing of invoices electronically. Other states offer it as a more convenient option than paper filing.

New reports in 2009 include:

Maine

  • Sales and Use Tax Return – Short Form
    1. Monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual
    2. Almost all of the wineries licensed in Maine will be filing the sales tax return for the first time this January (due January 15).
  • Combined Table Sparkling and Fortified Wine Tax Report and Schedule
    1. This annual report is due January 10

Tennessee

  • ALC 102 Wholesale Alcoholic Beverage Return for Direct Shippers of Wine
    1. Originally due monthly, Tennessee has now requested an annual file date of January 15
    2. Wet areas only
  • SLS 450 State and Local Sales and Use Tax Return
    1. Monthly, quarterly or annually, due within 20 days of period end

Kansas

  • ABC-1040 Special Order Shipping Annual Gallonage Tax Return and Sales Report
    1. Due annually, within 15 days of period end
  • LE-3 Liquor Enforcement Tax Return
    1. If you are licensed in Kansas, you have likely already submitted the monthly Enforcement tax return.

New York

  • A new policy (in effect July 2009) allows approved wineries to file the MT-40 annually instead of monthly

Wisconsin

  • This October, Wisconsin began requiring local taxes to be paid when filing the ST-12

Contact ShipCompliant to learn how you can reduce your compliance burden by over 90% even while the total number of reports due to increase.

1 Comment

  1. In my fridge right now: a bottle of albarino, one of red burgundy, and several of Bell’s Oberon and Dogfish Head beers. No reports of a food fight.

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