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  • South Dakota Takes Wine Product Registration Online

    Product renewals for 2014 in South Dakota can now be done online. South Dakota now joins Arkansas as one of the most recent states to institute on-line product registrations, continuing the trend toward digital product registration, away from the realm of pulp and fiber and into the digital space.

    Suppliers of wine, spirits and beer to South Dakota can complete their product registration renewals for 2014 via South Dakota’s new on-line product registration portal. Paper-based product registration is still an option – forms, fees and instructions for paper registration are available on South Dakota’s Special Tax Division website.

    HOW SOUTH DAKOTA’S ON-LINE PRODUCT REGISTRATION WORKS
    To utilize the new South Dakota on-line product registration portal, suppliers will need their 4-digit “BR License Number” (provided in a recent communication from the state) as well as an email address. Upon logging in, suppliers will see a list of all currently registered products associated with their BR License Number. Suppliers need merely click the box next to the product they would like to renew for distribution in 2014. Should suppliers find that they would like to edit any details of their products (i.e. to add a COLA # or edit the label description), it is possible to easily edit details of any product. All renewals are preliminarily approved upon submission. State fees for on-line registration of wine products is $30 for an initial label of a brand and $22.50 for subsequent labels under the same brand. The fee for on-line registration of beer is $30 per label, and for spirits $55 per label. Payment may be made by credit card or check.

    South Dakota’s new on-line product registration will allow suppliers to more quickly register new products, renew, and edit products currently licensed and in distribution in the state.

    Anyone with any questions, please leave a comment here, or contact Tonna Finch at the SD Department of Revenue by email, or by phone at 605-773-5397.

    Connecticut Wants You to File Sales Tax Online in 2014

    Wine direct shippers doing business in Connecticut will be required to report and pay sales tax due for all filing frequencies beginning on or after January 1, 2014. This mandate affects direct wine shippers because sales tax remittance is a requirement of their direct shipping license in Connecticut. Currently most shippers file both their sales tax and excise tax returns for Connecticut via paper. After January 1, 2014, however, only excise tax should be remitted via paper mailings. Specific details on this eFile mandate may be found in Informational Publication 2013(15), but below are a few notable details to get filers prepared for this change.

    New e-filing sales tax filers have two options to file sales tax returns: via telephone at 860-289-4829, or via the TSC Online website. Taxpayers need their “Connecticut Tax Registration Number” and PIN or information from a previously filed return to log on to the TSC website. Both of these options allow for sales tax to be paid along with filing the return. Sales tax filers may remit payment via ACH debit (recommended), ACH credit (pre-registration required) or by a credit card (convenience fee assessed). For specific details on each of these payment options please refer to the publication noted above.

    Any sales tax filer that would like to begin filing sales tax online now is allowed to do so; simply choose one of the above options to file and pay sales tax for the last tax return of 2013.

    Idaho Offers Less Frequent Reporting for Wine Direct Shippers

    Monthly filings in 40+ states can be quite a burden, especially for suppliers who don’t have significant sales every month in every state. Idaho has recognized over the years that wine direct shippers generally do not have significant sales every month and is reaching out to licensed wine direct shippers letting them know they may be eligible to file the “Idaho Form 1752 Wine Wholesalers, Wineries and Wine Direct Shippers Tax Return” and/or the “Idaho Form 850 Sales and Use Tax Return” on a less frequent basis. This eligibility is dependent on requirements outlined in the Idaho Administrative Rules:
    Idaho

    • Monthly tax filers liable for the Idaho wine or sales taxes who owe $600 or less per quarter and have a satisfactory record of timely filing/payment of their taxes may request to file quarterly or semi-annually.
    • Monthly tax filers liable for the Idaho wine or sales taxes who have seasonal activities and have a satisfactory record of timely filing/payment of their taxes may request to file annually.

    Any licensed wine direct shipper that files either or both of these returns on a monthly basis and falls under the criteria noted above may submit a request for a less frequent filing preference by sending an email to meaghan.mccandlish@tax.idaho.gov or writing a letter to:

    Meaghan McCandlish
    Unit: RO/PAS
    Idaho State Tax Commission
    PO Box 76
    Boise, Idaho 83707-0076

    You must receive confirmation of approval by the Idaho State Tax Commission before you may begin filing at a less frequent reporting frequency. Also, if you are approved to switch from monthly to quarterly in the next two months, the soonest you may begin filing quarterly would be for the quarter beginning January 2014 and you would still need to file a monthly reports for the last months of 2013.

    Please note, wine suppliers that only sell to Idaho distributors and do not partake in any direct-to-consumer sales with Idaho do not need to submit Form 1752 to the State Tax Commission.

    FedEx will (not) continue delivering wine shipments to North Dakota

    Update 10/22/2013: FedEx will halt shipments to North Dakota effective immediately. Official statement from FedEx below.

    This communication is to confirm that FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery will cease transporting alcoholic beverages destined to an address in North Dakota effective immediately. FedEx has been unable to arrive at a solution that would allow compliance with the new law while protecting our customers’ shipping experience.

    Despite their previous notices to wineries that FedEx will stop shipping to North Dakota consumers effective 11/1, FedEx will continue to ship while they are in discussions with state officials on the new requirements. Official statement from FedEx below:
    “As of today, October 17th, 2013 FedEx and officials from the State of North Dakota are in continuing discussions about keeping the state open for shipments by licensed DTC shippers. We have been informed, that for the time being, those holding the required permits will be allowed to continue to process shipments via FedEx into the state past the previously announced stop date of November 1, 2013.”

    FedEx to Halt Shipments to North Dakota

    FedEx will stop shipping wine to North Dakota, effective November 1st. Please see below for a statement from FedEx sent to Wine Institute members.

    Due to recent changes in North Dakota law, FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery will cease transporting shipments containing alcoholic beverages to and within the state of North Dakota, Effective November 1st, 2013. After that date, packages containing alcoholic beverages destined for a North Dakota address will be Returned to Shipper. We will provide further information to members in the event of future changes.”
    ShipCompliant Direct users will see a “Carrier Prohibited” rule in their account effective on November 1st. This will result in a failed compliance check for any shipments with a FedEx carrier service code destined for North Dakota consumers.

    To learn more about the recent changes in North Dakota, as well as new laws in Montana, Nebraska, and Arkansas, please attend our free Direct Sales Virtual Seminar on Thursday, October 17th at 10:00 PT.

    The COLA Conundrum

    On the issue of Certificates of Label Approval (COLAs), the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is finding itself caught between a rock and a hard place. The rock is their funding, including dwindling budgets each year, and concerns over furloughs, government shutdowns, and long term sequestration given an inept and unpredictable Congress. The hard place is an industry that is pumping more and more products into the marketplace and a need to get products to market quickly because of a dizzying pace of innovation.

    The result of this squeeze is longer approval times for new COLA applications. Even though TTB has made great strides and a substantial number of changes to streamline the COLA filing process, current COLA processing times are 38 days for distilled spirits labels, 12 days for malt beverage labels, and 25 days for wine labels.

    TTB has also signaled that they would like to make even more changes to the COLA process. As we discussed on a panel at the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators (NCSLA) Annual Conference this summer in Hawaii, TTB would like to continue to explore substantial ways to overhaul the label pre-approval process, including potentially moving to a “deemed-approved” process with automated decisions for certain eligible labels and a shift to marketplace enforcement. These potential changes could have a big impact on the 30+ states that have label approval laws as well as suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, and vendors. Many states would need to revise their statutes, change their regulations, and/or revisit their policies and processes if the changes move forward.

    We’re going to hold a follow-up “part 2″ to the COLA panel at the NCSLA Regional Conference in Atlantic City on October 12th. I’ll also touch on these issues during the regulatory roundup section at our annual Direct Sales Virtual Seminar on October 17th.

    We want to hear from you! If you have any feedback, comments, or questions, please email them to COLApanel@shipcompliant.com . If you are a state administrator, and you haven’t yet completed our label registration survey, please do so in advance of the panel on October 12th by clicking here. Our goal is to have an open, collaborative discussion on this important topic and would love to have as much input as possible.