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Notes on Wine Distribution v.32

The latest version of “Notes on Wine Distribution”, by R. Corbin Houchins, is now available. Release 32 includes updates on legislation, litigation and general discussions on available distribution channels for wine. This release includes substantial changes, including new sections on age and identity, facial neutrality, and logistical support services, as well as updates to state summaries in Arizona, Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Read about these and other updates that affect the way wine is sold and shipped within the United States.

If you are at all interested in the shipping and distribution of wine, this is an excellent resource that is well worth reading.  You can view the most recent version of the document anytime by visiting the ShipCompliant Blog and clicking the link located under “Compliance Resources”, or by visiting CorbinCounsel.com and clicking on the home page link, “Notes on Wine Distribution.”

Click Here to View NWD Release 32

Add Two to the List of Open States, and Many More Updates, Effective Today

Tennessee, Kansas Open For Direct Shipping
Today, both Kansas and Tennessee open for direct shipping – the first two states to open in almost three years. These are the first states to change from Prohibited to Limited since Vermont in late 2006.

As of today, Kansas residents have direct access to up to twelve cases of wine per address from licensed wineries per year. Kansas special order direct shipping license applications are available online. After registering with the Secretary of State for $36, wineries must submit proof of business tax registration, a $50 license fee, a $50 application fee with their license application as well as post a $750 bond.

Nearly one month ago on June 5, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen signed Senate Bill 166 into law to open Tennessee for direct shipping on July 1. Tennessee ranks in the top 25 wine consuming states.

Both state licenses are available for order with full concierge service through easywinelicensing.com.

North Dakota Excise Tax Decreases
Beginning today, sparkling wine will be taxed at $0.50/gallon, down from $1.00/gallon.

Nevada State-Wide Sales Tax Increase
Effective July 1, Nevada has increased its Local School Support Tax from 2.25% to 2.6%; a 0.35% increase in state-wide sales tax. This new tax will be collected at a local level. Also, the 0.25% Collection Allowance, scheduled to increase back to 0.50%, remains in effect for sales and use taxes collected.

Local Tax Increases
The following local tax rates are effective today:

  • In Arizona, the city of Kearny has increased its retail and use tax rates from 2.5% to 3.0%
  • In California, voters in Los Angeles County approved a new 0.50% district tax increasing their tax rate to 9.75% (including the 8.25% state tax rate). Also, the City Council of Laguna Beach located in Orange County voted to repeal the 0.50% Temporary Transactions and Use Tax prior to its scheduled end date, lowering their tax rate to 8.75%
  • In Georgia, the counties of Camden, McIntosh and Wayne will increase their local tax rates by 1%, making the total local option tax 3.0%
  • In Washington, sales and use tax within all of Wahkiakum County will increase one-tenth of one percent. The new rate will be 7.6%

Ohio Electronic Filing
For Ohio Sales and Use tax semi-annual filers, the January – June return is the first return that is required to be filed online. There are two filing methods available to direct shippers to report Ohio sales taxes electronically:

  1. Express Data Entry – Upload a .CSV to the Ohio Business Gateway (OBG), and make any final adjustments on the OBG’s website
  2. eForms – Enter tax calculations step-by-step into Ohio’s web application

If you can’t decide which filing option is right for you, view a comparison of the different filing options (please note that TeleFile is not available for direct shippers). If you have any questions about the requirement, please visit Ohio’s Department of Taxation website, or call the Ohio DOT at 800-282-1784.

Details on Submitting the Kansas Special Order Shipping License Application

As of June 25th, wineries may apply for a Special Order Shipping License that allows them to ship off-site sales to Kansas consumers (on-site sales do not require a Shipping License). The initial costs for the Special Order Shipping License include a $50 license fee and a $50 registration fee. The license will be valid for 1 year from the date issued. The cost to renew a license is the $50 license fee plus a $10 registration fee. Wineries with a license will be able to ship up to 12 cases of wine to any one consumer or address each calendar year. Direct Shippers are required to confirm the consumer is at least 21 years old by physically examining a government issued form of identification or by using an age verification service approved by the ABC. Lexis Nexis, Wine Institute’s preferred age verification provider, is an Approved Internet Based Age and Identification Service Provider for Kansas.

The Kansas Special Order Shipping License Application and Instructions (Form ABC-800 rev.6/29/09) are posted on the Wine Institute website. In addition to the License application wineries are required to obtain a bond for $750, submit a Kansas Business Tax Application, and file form ABC-160 entitled “Irrevocable Consent to Jurisdiction” with the Kansas Secretary of State’s office. There is a $35 fee to file form ABC-160 and a $1 fee for each additional file stamped copy of the form. Wineries registered as a supplier in Kansas and doing business through the 3-tier system should have already filed form ABC-160 and will not need to file the form a second time. Wineries who have already filed ABC-160 can obtain a copy of their Irrevocable Consent to Jurisdiction letter on the Kansas Department of Revenue website. A copy of the Irrevocable Consent to Jurisdiction should be attached to the application or faxed to the Department of Revenue upon receipt. Special Order Shipping Licenses will not be issued until Alcohol Beverage Control has a copy of the document. The Kansas Business Tax Application should be completed by hand and mailed in with the Special Order Shipping License Application.

Wineries located outside of Kansas applying for the Special Order Shipping License are not required to complete Section 3- “Business Ownership Information,” Section 5– “Background Qualifications” or Section 9 “Management Services Disclosure” of the application. In Section 6, Part 2 and Section 8, Part 1 it is not necessary for out-of-state applicants to attach additional documentation.

Should you have any questions about the Special Order Shipping License Application process or forms please contact Annie Bones with the State Relations Department of Wine Institute at 415-356-7530.

Application
http://www.ksrevenue.org/pdf/forms/abc800.pdf
Business Tax Registration
http://www.ksrevenue.org/pdf/forms/cr16.pdf
Escrow Bond Form
http://www.ksrevenue.org/pdf/forms/abc803.pdf
Surety Bond Form
http://www.ksrevenue.org/pdf/forms/abc804.pdf
ABC-160
http://www.ksrevenue.org/pdf/forms/abc160.pdf

-Annie Bones, State Relations – Wine Institute

Kansas permit applications available, Tennessee coming soon…

Late yesterday the Kansas ABC posted their applications for direct shipping on their website.  Wine producers across the country can now apply for permission to direct ship wine to Kansas consumers effective July 1, 2009.

ewl_blog3Kansas SB 212 was signed into law by Governor Kathleen Sebelius on April 10. Wineries interested in avoiding the hassle of the application process can purchase the license at www.easywinelicensing.com.

Licensed wineries will be able to ship up to 12 cases of wine per year to Kansas residents. To obtain a Kansas direct shipping license, wineries must pay a $50 license fee, a $50 registration fee, and post a $750 bond.

Tennessee will also open for direct shipping on July 1, although the paperwork has not yet been finalized.  Tennessee’s license is available for pre-order pending the state’s posting.

Kansas to Open for Winery Direct Shipping July 1st

The Kansas Legislature approved Senate Bill 212 on April 10, 2009. Governor Kathleen Sebelius followed suit today by signing the bill into law, which will go into effect on July 1st, 2009. Although the road to approval contained a few bumps and detours, the original purpose of the bill remained unchanged: to give out-of-state and in-state wineries the right to truly direct ship to Kansas consumers. Once the application forms are available, wineries will be able to apply for a special order shipping license with an initial $50 registration fee and an annual renewal fee of $10. Kansas residents will have direct access to up to 12 cases of wine per address from a winery per year. Another specification of SB 212 is a method of age enforcement, required before shipping to residents; licensees must confirm the age of the consumer by either physically examining an approved government issued ID or using an approved internet age and identification service. Permit holders will be required to remit annual sales and excise taxes as well.

Despite these clear cut guidelines, the House Federal and State Affairs (FSA) committee introduced some potentially burdensome amendments. These amendments include a trigger clause that could shut down direct shipments if any part of the Kansas liquor control act is deemed invalid or unconstitutional by a court, similar to a November 2008 Oklahoma referendum. In addition, the FSA committee inserted bond requirements for special order shipping license holders in the amount of $750, which is waived for Kansas farm winery license holders who must submit a $2000 farm winery bond. On April 2, 2009, a Conference Committee also added other amendments, not related to direct shipping, that address clubs, special events, and temporary permits. Both Chambers approved the amended version of the bill and the bill was reengrossed in the Senate and sent to the Governor.

With the Governor’s signature, the new and revised statutes will overturn the existing “direct” shipping statutes. Until July 1st, wineries are required to ship through the three tier system, a system that is very much indirect. Both of these existing permits require wineries to ship orders to a third party for consumer pick-up. Small wineries must ship orders to a designated licensed retailer for pick-up, while large wineries must first ship to a licensed wholesaler, which in turn must ship the goods to a designated retailer for consumer pick-up. On top of dealing with the round-about delivery process, consumers may also be charged a handling fee of up to $5 per order. Consumers and wineries will have to wait until mid-summer to see the effects of the statute changes, but nevertheless, Governor’s Sebelius signature and the Kansas Legislature’s overwhelming approval (88-37 in the House and 38-0 in the Senate) of SB 212 demonstrate the willingness of elected officials to reform direct shipping statutes to address their constituents’ demands.

As mentioned before, the official effective date for all new and revised statutes is July 1st of this year. We will alert you of any updates and notifications on the required forms for the special order shipping license as soon as they are available.