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  • Arkansas Confirms Direct Shippers Only Responsible for Statewide Taxes

    As wineries were applying for and beginning to use the new DTC shipping licenses for on-site sales to Arkansas consumers, we learned that some of the staff in the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration were telling holders of direct wine shipper licenses that they were responsible for collecting certain local sales and use taxes. Wine Institute’s local Arkansas counsel has received a legal opinion from the Assistant Commissioner of Revenue, Policy and Legal of the Department of Finance and Administration stating that holders of a wine shipping permit are not required to collect any local taxes. Direct shippers are responsible for collecting and remitting only the statewide sales and excise taxes.

    Wineries can register and file reports online through the Arkansas Taxpayer Access Point on the Department’s website at www.arkansas.gov/dfa or manually prepare and mail in the required forms. The state gross receipts (sales) tax rate is 6.5%, in addition to a state liquor excise tax that is 3% of the sales price. Direct shippers are also responsible for paying the $0.75 per gallon wine excise tax and a $.05 wine case excise tax. If the volume of wine being reported is less than one case of wine, round up. Sales and excise taxes must be reported on a monthly basis even if no activity occurred.

    Annie Bones, State Relations – Wine Institute

    Don’t Delay – Renew your Arkansas Products by June 30th

    Arkansas, the latest state to adopt wholesale label registration practices, has begun their first renewal period. The state recently sent out an email communication to all licensees with previously registered labels. Just in case you missed the email, here’s what you need to know:

    • The renewal period will run from June 1st through June 30th, and requires that all wine and spirit labels registered prior to March 1st be renewed. Labels registered after March 1st will be valid through the end of next year’s renewal period (through June 30th, 2015).
    • Renewals should take only a few minutes. The renewal fee is $20 per label.
    • Renewals must be performed electronically and can be completed in bulk here: ar.productregistrationonline.com/renewalslogin.
    • New labels (not renewals) in Arkansas can also be performed with a ShipCompliant login. If you don’t have a ShipCompliant login, set up an account with ProductRegistrationOnline here: productregistrationonline.com
    • Arkansas Supplier Permits must be renewed prior to June 30, 2014. If you currently hold a Supplier Permit, you should have received a renewal notice.

    Product Registrations Online: Out with the Old, In with the New

    In the increasingly fast pace of wine, malt and spirit law and compliance, more and more states are recognizing the importance of doing more with less, optimizing processes, and going green. Over the last two years alone, seven states have begun using PRO (Product Registration Online) to accept online label registrations from licensees. For labels registered through PRO in these states, we’ve seen registration time-to-approval drop from weeks or even months to days, and in some cases just a matter of hours! It’s not surprising that states and licensees alike are swapping out traditional registration forms sent via snail mail for electronic registrations transmitted instantaneously and approved in short order.

    Since it’s beginning in 2012, PRO has improved the registration process by making label registration move quickly and easily for licensees and state administrators alike. We’ve worked with licensees – covering over 4,000 wholesale brands – to learn what we can do to make registrations less frustrating and time consuming. We also learned about what users can do to make registrations accurate 100% of the time to ensure minimal delays or rejections.

    How can I get started?

    Need to register labels in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, New Mexico, South Dakota, or Washington?  Getting started is easy. ShipCompliant users have PRO already integrated into their accounts, and are utilizing end to end workflows including TTB COLA submission and state subsequently automated registrations to multiple states. Outside of a ShipCompliant account, PRO is available by visiting www.productregistrationonline.com.

    Where will I be able to register electronically next?

    Well, we can’t spill the beans on this yet, but we’re working with quite a few states that have gotten feedback from you, raving about PRO in the existing states. We’re looking to have a new PRO state (or two) in the next couple months. (Hint) one sported a boxing legend and the other produced two brothers with one of America’s finest inventions.  Okay, maybe you can guess the states… In the world of compliance, who needs more time-consuming and tedious forms to fill? Questions? Have a state you’d like to see adopt PRO? Contact us.

    Arkansas DTC wine shipments can now arrive via FedEx

    Effective May 1, 2014, FedEx will begin accepting on-site direct-to-consumer wine shipment orders to Arkansas residents. Both FedEx Express and FedEx Ground services will be available for wineries licensed to ship wine directly to Arkansas consumers. As we outlined in our blog post back in February, in order to be compliant, wineries must:

    • Apply for a $25 wine shipping permit (call the AR ABC for a permit application – 501-682-1105)
    • Ship on-site shipments only
    • Send orders only to private residences
    • Pay sales and excise taxes
    • Limit shipment volumes to 1 case per resident per quarter, max

    Wineries should also note the FedEx label placed on any shipments satisfies the requirement of having a special shipping label on any on-site orders sent to Arkansas residents. FedEx’s shipping map will be updated on May 1.

    How to make compliant shipments to Arkansas

    Following up on Sarah’s post about the new permit applications being available in Arkansas, we wanted to give you a quick update on how we’re handling some of the unique requirements in the Arkansas law. The bottom line is that you can now make compliant shipments to Arkansas if you’ve completed the permit process. Continue reading below for the full details of how we implemented this new state in ShipCompliant…

    1) We deployed the updates to production last night. We also activated the appropriate rules in the ShipCompliant Direct database. The first thing to note is that this permit allows you to make onsite shipments only. Therefore, if you pass in a shipment with an Order Type of Internet, Phone, Mail, Fax, or Club (all of which map to an “Offsite” Sale Type), the order response will be Non Compliant. Shipments with an Order Type of In Person will results in a Sale Type of Onsite and therefore will be compliant if all other rules checked are also compliant.

    2) Because the Arkansas DFA is going to accept the FedEx and UPS standard alcohol shipping labels and stickers as meeting the requirement for special shipping labels, we did not add any custom rules to comply with this provision. Using your standard alcohol shipping practices here will achieve compliance with respect to the labeling provision.

    3) We did add a new rule called for the provision that requires all shipments to be delivered to a residential address. If you are using version 1.1 or 1.2 of the API will see this rule type come through as Business Address Shipping Prohibited. Please work with Emily Sheehan, our Integration Specialist, if you have any questions about handling or testing this new rule type. The rule is live now in Arkansas in our sandbox (dev) and demo (demo) environments.

    4) When shipments are sent to ShipCompliant, they are checked for compliance against our rules database and that process always includes an address validation step prior to determining the rules that are applicable for that shipment. As part of our algorithm for validating addresses, we’ll always set the Residential Business Delivery Indicator (RBDI) flag to either R for Residential or B for Business per USPS standards. When checking this new rule type for compliance, we’ll look at that flag and only shipments with an RBDI set to R will pass the compliance check process.

    In summary, if you have a permit and make an onsite shipment to a residential address in Arkansas, an order will now pass the compliance check process in ShipCompliant once you acknowledge the new rules in ShipCompliant Direct. We’ve included two sample XML responses below to illustrate both compliant and non-compliant shipments to Arkansas.


    Arkansas opens for wine shipments, but only for onsite sales going to private residences


    Wineries may now apply for an Arkansas “Wine Shipping Permit”, making the state available to onsite direct wine shipments only for the first time. The application for the $25 license may only be obtained by calling the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (the ABC’s number is 501-682-1105) and requesting an application be sent to the winery applicant. Once the application for the ABC has been submitted, the applicant can begin the process of obtaining sales tax and vinous liquor excise tax licenses. The entire process could take up to three to four weeks to complete. Upon receipt of approved licenses, the winery may then begin to legally ship direct-to-consumer wine orders to Arkansas residents.

    Requirements of the Licensee

    1. Licensed Wine Shippers may ship up to one case to an Arkansas resident per calendar quarter.
    2. Licensees must regularly remit excise taxes, vinous liquor excise tax (3%) and state sales tax (6.5%). Please note, if you register online to pay taxes, you will be required to file and pay online (strongly recommended). Similarly, if you register via paper application to pay taxes, you will be required to file and pay using paper forms.
    3. Arkansas is the only state that requires wineries to obtain a license to ship onsite-only orders (placed in person at the winery) unlike the other onsite-only states, open via Federal Onsite (Delaware, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and South Dakota). Internet, club and phone orders are not allowed.
    4. As noted in our previous blog post, a special shipping label must be on every shipment; however, the alcohol-specific shipping labels provided by UPS and FedEx will satisfy this requirement.
    5. Wineries may only ship to residential addresses (no shipping to businesses or commercial locations), a requirement unique to the state of Arkansas.

    Resources:
    - Sample Arkansas Wine Shipping Permit and Instructions (call the state’s ABC to obtain your individual application – 501-682-1105)
    - Online Registration for Sales and Vinous Liquor Excise Taxes (click on “New Business Registration”; online registration is recommended)
    - Further instruction on how to register for a Sales Tax Permit
    - Act 483, To Permit the Direct Shipment of Vinous Liquor from a Winery to Arkansas Residents