WSR 98-20-085

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE

[Filed October 6, 1998, 1:44 p.m.]



Date of Adoption: October 6, 1998.

Purpose: This rule is being revised to explain that the tax on carbonated beverages was repealed effective July 1, 1995 (chapter 7, Laws of 1994 sp.s.), and to correct an incorrect tax rate for sales of syrup and an incorrect statutory citation.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 458-20-255 Carbonated beverage and syrup tax.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 82.32.300.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 98-16-018 on July 27, 1998.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, amended 1, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, amended 1, repealed 0.

Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

October 6, 1998

Russell W. Brubaker

Assistant Director

OTS-2321.1

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 91-20-058, filed 9/24/91, effective 10/25/91)



WAC 458-20-255  Carbonated beverage and syrup tax. (1) Introduction. ((Under the provisions of chapter 80, Laws of 1991, a tax is imposed, effective June 1, 1991, upon)) In 1991, the legislature amended chapter 82.64 RCW to impose a tax on the volume of carbonated beverages and syrups sold at wholesale and retail in this state with specific credits and exemptions provided. This tax is an excise tax ((upon the business activity of selling)) on sales of carbonated beverages or syrups in this state. It is imposed in addition to all other taxes of an excise or property tax nature and is not in lieu of any other such taxes.

The tax on sales of carbonated beverages was repealed effective July 1, 1995, by Referendum 43. (Chapter 7, Laws of 1994 sp.s.) The tax on sales of syrup still applies.

(2) Definitions. For purposes of this section the following terms will apply.

(a) "Tax" means the carbonated beverage or syrup tax imposed by chapter ((80, Laws of 1991)) 82.64 RCW.

(b) "Carbonated beverage" has its ordinary meaning and includes any nonalcoholic liquid intended for human consumption which contains carbon dioxide.

(i) Thus, "carbonated beverage" includes but is not limited to soft drinks, "soda pop," mineral waters, seltzers, fruit juices, or any other nonalcoholic beverages, including carbonated waters, which are produced for human consumption and which contain any amount of carbon dioxide.

(ii) However, "carbonated beverage" does not include bromides or other carbonated liquids commonly sold as pharmaceuticals.

(c) "Previously taxed carbonated beverage or syrup" means a carbonated beverage or syrup in respect to which a tax has been paid under ((this)) chapter 82.64 RCW. A "previously taxed carbonated beverage" includes carbonated beverages in respect to which the tax has been paid on either the carbonated beverage or on the syrup in the carbonated beverage. (((i) Example.)) For example, a retailer who produces a carbonated beverage by adding water and carbonation to a syrup, ((upon)) on which the tax has been paid to and collected by a wholesaler, incurs no additional tax liability because the tax has been paid upon the syrup and collected by the wholesaler.

(d) "Syrup" means a concentrated liquid which is added to carbonated water to produce a carbonated beverage. (((i))) Thus, "syrup" includes the concentrated liquid marketed by manufacturers to which the purchaser adds water and/or carbon dioxide, or, carbonated water to produce a carbonated beverage.

(e) "State" means for the credit provisions of this section:

(i) A state of the United States other than Washington, or any political subdivision of such other state,

(ii) The District of Columbia, and

(iii) Any foreign country or political subdivision thereof.

(f) Except as otherwise expressly defined in this section, the definitions of terms provided in chapters 82.04, 82.08, and 82.12 RCW apply equally for this section. Other terms not expressly defined in these chapters or this section are to be given their common and ordinary meanings.

(3) Tax imposition((, rate)) and measure. (((a))) The tax is imposed ((upon)) on the wholesale or retail ((business activity of selling)) sale of carbonated beverages or syrups within this state. However, the tax on sales of carbonated beverages does not apply to such sales after June 30, 1995. (Chapter 7, Laws of 1994 sp.s.)

(a) The tax shall be paid by the buyer to the wholesaler and each wholesaler shall collect the tax from the buyer unless the wholesaler is prohibited from collecting the tax from the buyer under the Constitution of this state or the Constitution or laws of the United States in which case the wholesaler is liable for the amount of the tax. The amount of the tax required to be collected by the wholesaler is a debt from the buyer to the wholesaler until the tax is paid by the buyer to the wholesaler. A wholesaler who fails or refuses to collect the tax with intent to violate the provisions of ((this)) chapter 82.64 RCW or to gain some advantage directly or indirectly, is guilty of a misdemeanor. When a retailer sells carbonated beverages or uses syrup which the retailer has purchased from ((an out-of-state)) a wholesaler who has not collected the tax, the retailer must report and pay the tax.

(i) When a bottler produces a carbonated beverage end product, the measure of the tax shall be the volume of the carbonated beverage end product sold at wholesale or retail.

(ii) Manufacturers of syrup are taxable on the ((business activity of selling)) sales of syrup only when such syrup is removed from the production process and sold without further processing by them or another manufacturer or bottler.

(iii) Examples. An ingredient used in the manufacturing process by a bottler of carbonated beverages is never taxed even if the ingredient is a syrup. Therefore, a manufacturer of syrup who sells an ingredient to another manufacturer of syrup or a bottler((,)) is not taxed on the ingredient sold even if the ingredient is a syrup. The product sold is not a taxable syrup but an ingredient in the manufacturing process. The purchasing manufacturer or bottler is taxed upon the end product produced by such manufacturer of syrup or bottler, or by a contract bottler hired by ((him)) the manufacturer or bottler. Similarly, a manufacturer of syrup or bottler who receives a product from an out-of-state source for use as an ingredient in the manufacturing or bottling process is taxed when the end product produced is sold.

(b) The tax ((rate and measure)) for carbonated beverages is ((eighty-four one thousandths of a cent per)) imposed on each ounce of product sold. The tax ((rate and measure)) for syrup is ((seventy five cents per gallon)) imposed on each gallon of product sold. Fractional amounts shall be taxed proportionally.

(4) Exemptions. The following are exempt from the tax:

(a) Any successive ((possession)) sale of a previously taxed carbonated beverage or syrup.

(i) In order to verify the payment of the tax, all persons selling or otherwise transferring possession of taxed beverages or syrup, except retailers, shall separately itemize the amount of the tax on the invoice, bill of lading, or other instrument of sale. Beer and wine wholesalers selling carbonated beverages or syrup upon which the tax has been paid and who are prohibited under RCW ((68.28.010)) 66.28.010 from having a direct or indirect financial interest in any retail business may, in lieu of a separate itemization of the amount of the tax, provide a statement on the instrument of sale that the carbonated beverage and syrup tax has been paid. For purposes of the payment and the itemization of the tax, the tax computed on standard units of a product, cases, liters, gallons, etc., may be stated in an amount rounded to the nearest cent. In competitive bid documents, the tax will be considered to not be included in the bid price unless the bid documents separately itemizes the tax. In either case, the tax must be separately itemized on the instrument of sale except when the separate itemization is prohibited by law.

(ii) Any person prohibited by federal or state law, ruling or requirement from itemizing the tax on an invoice, bill of lading, or other document of delivery shall retain the documentation necessary for verification of the payment of the tax.

(iii) A subsequent sale of carbonated beverages or syrups sold or delivered upon an invoice, bill of lading, or other document of sale which contains a separate itemization of the tax shall be exempt from the tax.

(iv) However, a subsequent sale of carbonated beverages or syrups sold or delivered to the subsequent seller upon an invoice, bill of lading or other document of sale which does not contain a separate itemization of the tax is conclusively presumed to be previously untaxed carbonated beverage or syrup and the wholesaler must report and pay the tax. The retailer must report and pay the tax when the retailer purchases from ((an out-of-state)) a wholesaler who has not collected the tax.

(v) This exemption for taxes previously paid is available for any person selling previously taxed carbonated beverage or syrup even though the previous payment may have been satisfied by the use of credits or offsets available to the prior seller.

(vi) Example. Company A sells to Company B a carbonated beverage or syrup upon which it has paid a similar carbonated beverage or syrup tax in another state. Company A takes a credit against its Washington tax liability in the amount of the other state's tax paid. It provides Company B with an invoice containing a separate itemization of the tax. Company B's subsequent sale is tax exempt even though Company A has not directly paid Washington's tax but has used a credit against its Washington liability.

(b) Any carbonated beverage or syrup that is transferred to a point outside the state for use outside the state.

(i) The exemption for the sale of exported carbonated beverages or syrups may be taken by any seller within the chain of distribution of such products in this state. To perfect its entitlement to this exemption the seller of such carbonated beverage or syrup must take from its buyer or transferee of the carbonated beverage or syrup a written certification in substantially the following form:





Certificate of Tax Exempt Export Carbonated Beverages or Syrup





I hereby certify that the carbonated beverages or syrups specified herein, purchased by the undersigned, from (seller), are for export for use or sale outside Washington state. I will become liable for and pay any carbonated beverage or syrup tax due ((upon)) on all or any part of such products which is not so exported outside Washington state. This certificate is given with full knowledge of, and subject to the legally prescribed penalties for fraud and tax evasion.



Registration No. . . .

(If applicable)

Type of Business . . .
Firm Name . . .
Registered Name . . .

(If different)

Authorized Signature . . .
Title . . .
Identity of Carbonated Beverages or Syrups((.)) . . .

(Kind and amount by volume)

Date . . .

This certificate may be used so long as some portion of the product is exported. Sellers are under no obligation to verify the amount of the product to be exported by their buyers providing such certificates. Buyers providing such certificates are, however, subject to penalties and interest, for any late payment of tax due on products not exported.

(ii) Each successive sale of such carbonated beverages or syrups must, in turn, take a certification in substantially this form from any other person to whom such carbonated beverages or syrups are sold. Failure to take and keep such certifications as part of its permanent records will incur carbonated beverage or syrup tax liability by such sellers if the tax has not been previously paid.

(iii) Persons who themselves export or cause the exportation of such products to persons outside this state for further sale or use outside this state must keep the proofs of actual exportation required by WAC 458-20-193 (Inbound and outbound sales of tangible personal property).

(c) Persons or activities which the state is prohibited from taxing under the United States Constitution ((are tax exempt.

This exemption extends to the U.S. government, its agencies and instrumentalities, and to any sale the taxation of which has been expressly reserved or preempted under the laws of the United States. This exemption applies only to purchases by the United States, its agencies and instrumentalities. The exemption does not apply to persons who sell carbonated beverages or syrups to agencies and instrumentalities of the United States located in this state. When the United States or its agencies or instrumentalities purchases carbonated beverages or syrup from a wholesaler who is required to collect this tax from its buyer, the wholesaler itself is liable for, and must report and pay, the tax on the volume of product sold to the United States or its agencies or instrumentalities.

(d) The sale of any carbonated beverages or syrups prior to June 1, 1991, is tax exempt. Sales of carbonated beverages and syrups after June 1, 1991, are exempt if carbonated beverage and syrup possession tax has been paid on the product.

It is the intent, under the law, that this exemption will apply to the carbonated beverages or syrups throughout their succeeding chain of distribution for the life of those carbonated beverages or syrups. That is, carbonated beverages or syrups already possessed as of May 31, 1991, and upon which the possession carbonated beverage and syrup tax has been paid will not incur another tax liability upon the sale of the product after May 31, 1991)).

(((e))) (d) Any sale at wholesale of a trademarked carbonated beverage or syrup by any person to a person commonly known as a bottler who is appointed by the owner of the trademark to manufacture, distribute, and sell such trademarked carbonated beverage within a specific geographic territory.

(5) Credit. Credit shall be allowed against the taxes imposed ((in this section)) by chapter 82.64 RCW for any carbonated beverage or syrup tax paid to another state with respect to the same carbonated beverage or syrup. The amount of the credit shall not exceed the tax liability arising under ((this)) chapter 82.64 RCW with respect to that carbonated beverage or syrup.

(a) "Carbonated beverage or syrup tax" means a tax:

(i) That is imposed on the sale at wholesale of carbonated beverages or syrup and is not generally imposed on other activities or privileges; and

(ii) That is measured by ((the value or)) volume of the carbonated beverage or syrup.

(b) ((In order for this credit to apply, the other state's tax must be significantly similar to Washington's tax in all its various respects. The taxable incident must be the wholesale sale of carbonated beverages or syrups without deductions for costs of doing business, such that the other state's tax does not constitute an income tax or added value tax.

(c) This credit may be taken for the amount of any other state's qualifying tax which has actually been paid as a result of the same carbonated beverage or syrup being previously sold by the same person in another taxing jurisdiction before Washington state's tax is incurred.

(d))) The amount of credit is limited to the amount of tax paid in this state upon the wholesale sale of the same carbonated beverage or syrup in this state. Also, the credit may not be applied against any tax paid or owed in this state other than the carbonated beverage or syrup tax imposed by chapter ((80, Laws of 1991)) 82.64 RCW.

(6) How and when to pay tax.

(((a))) The tax must be reported on a special line of the combined excise tax return designated "syrup" ("carbonated beverage or syrup((.))" on returns covering periods prior to the repeal of the tax on sales of carbonated beverages). The volume reported shall be the net volume subject to tax, i.e., the gross volume sold less volume exempt.

(((b))) (a) The tax is due for payment together with the timely filing of the return upon which it is reported, covering the tax reporting period during which the carbonated beverage or syrup is sold.

(i) A wholesaler making a wholesale sale of carbonated beverage or syrup in this state must collect the tax from the buyer and report and pay it to the department. The buyer is not obligated to report or pay the tax.

(ii) A retailer making a retail sale in this state of carbonated beverage or syrup purchased from ((an out-of-state)) a wholesaler who has not collected the tax must collect the tax from the buyer and report and pay it to the department. The buyer is not obligated to report or pay the tax.

(((c) The taxable incident or event is the sale of the carbonated beverage or syrup. Tax is due for payment by the first seller, whether wholesaler or retailer, of carbonated beverage or syrup upon which the tax has not been paid. It is the intent of the law that all carbonated beverages or syrups sold in this state should incur this tax liability only once unless they are expressly exempt.

(d))) (b) Various circumstances may arise whereby a person will sell carbonated beverages or syrups in this state, some of which have been previously taxed in this or other states and some of which may not. In such cases formulary tax reporting may be used, only after receipt of a special ruling issued by the department of revenue authorizing such formulary reporting.

(7) How and when to claim credit. Any tax credit available to the taxpayer should be claimed and offset against tax liability reported on the same excise tax return when possible. The tax return form provides a line for reporting tax on carbonated beverages and syrups and the credit shall be taken on the line for taking "other credits" as an offset against the tax reported. A statement showing the computation of the credit must be provided. It is not required that any other documents or other evidences of entitlement to credits be submitted with the report. Such proofs must be retained in permanent records for the purpose of verification of credits taken.

(8) ((Notice to consumers by retailers that purchase price includes Washington drug fund tax. Chapter 80, Laws of 1991 authorizes the voluntary posting or print advertising by certain retailers that the price of the product includes the Washington drug fund tax. The intent of this voluntary program is to increase public and consumer awareness of the state's drug problem and its enforcement measures.

(9))) Administrative provisions. The provisions of chapters 82.32 and 82.04 RCW regarding due dates, reporting periods, tax return requirements, interest and penalties, tax audits and limitations, disputes and appeals, and all such general administrative provisions apply equally to the carbonated beverage or syrup tax.



[Statutory Authority: RCW 82.32.300. 91-20-058, 458-20-255, filed 9/24/91, effective 10/25/91; 89-17-001 (Order 89-13), 458-20-255, filed 8/3/89, effective 9/3/89.]

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