Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 458-20-186 Tax on cigarettes.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The department is amending WAC 458-20-186 to reflect the transition of the cigarette tax program from the special programs division to the taxpayer account administration division. References in the rule to special programs have been replaced with taxpayer account administration.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The rule is being updated to incorporate program responsibility changes within the department.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: Department of revenue, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Erin Summers, 6400 Linderson Way S.W., Tumwater, WA, 360-534-1568; Implementation and Enforcement: John Ryser, 6400 Linderson Way S.W., Tumwater, WA, 360-534-1603.
This notice meets the following criteria to use the expedited adoption process for these rules:
Relates only to internal governmental operations that are not subject to violation by a person.
Corrects typographical errors, make address or name changes, or clarify language of a rule without changing its effect.
Explanation of the Reason the Agency Believes the Expedited Rule-Making Process is Appropriate: The amendment involves an administering division name change only and does not change the effect of the rule.
THIS RULE IS BEING PROPOSED UNDER AN EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS THAT WILL ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR THE AGENCY TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS, PREPARE A SMALL BUSINESS ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT, OR PROVIDE RESPONSES TO THE CRITERIA FOR A SIGNIFICANT LEGISLATIVE RULE. IF YOU OBJECT TO THIS USE OF THE EXPEDITED RULE-MAKING PROCESS, YOU MUST EXPRESS YOUR OBJECTIONS IN WRITING AND THEY MUST BE SENT TO Erin Summers, Department of Revenue, P.O. Box 47453, Olympia, WA 98504-7453, phone 360-534-1568, fax 360-534-1606, email firstname.lastname@example.org, AND RECEIVED BY April 20, 2020.
(1) Introduction. This rule explains the tax liabilities of persons who sell, use, consume, handle, possess, or distribute cigarettes in Washington. The tax on cigarettes (also called the "cigarette tax") is in addition to all other taxes owed, such as retailing or wholesaling business and occupation tax, retail sales tax, use tax, and litter tax. See WAC 458-20-185 for tax liabilities associated with taxes that apply to tobacco products other than cigarettes.
(2) Organization of rule. The information provided in this rule is divided into eight parts:
(a) Part I explains the tax liabilities of persons who sell, use, consume, handle, possess, or distribute cigarettes in this state.
(b) Part II explains wholesale and retail cigarette vendor licensing requirements and responsibilities.
(c) Part III explains stamping requirements, cigarette tax rates, and refunds.
(d) Part IV describes the roll-your-own cigarette provisions.
(e) Part V describes the exemptions from the tax and the procedures that must be followed to qualify for exemption.
(f) Part VI explains the requirements and responsibilities for persons transporting cigarettes in Washington.
(g) Part VII explains the enforcement and administration of the cigarette tax.
(h) Part VIII explains requirements and responsibilities related to making sales or purchases of cigarettes in Indian country.
Part I - Tax on Cigarettes
(101) In general.
Except as otherwise provided in chapter 82.24
RCW and this rule, the Washington state cigarette tax is due and payable by the first person who sells, uses, consumes, handles, possesses, or distributes the cigarettes in this state.
(102) Definitions. For the purposes of this rule, the following definitions apply:
(a) "Board" means the liquor control board.
(b) "Business" includes all activities engaged in with the object of gain, benefit, or advantage to the taxpayer or to another person or class, directly or indirectly, including any trade, occupation, activity, or enterprise engaged in for the purpose of selling or distributing cigarettes in this state.
(c) "Cigarette" means any roll for smoking made wholly or in part of tobacco, irrespective of size or shape and irrespective of the tobacco being flavored, adulterated, or mixed with any other ingredient, where such roll has a wrapper or cover made of paper or any material, except where such wrapper is wholly or in the greater part made of natural leaf tobacco in its natural state. Cigarette includes a roll-your-own cigarette.
(d) "Cigarette paper" means any paper or any other material except tobacco, prepared for use as a cigarette wrapper.
(e) "Cigarette tube" means cigarette paper made into a hollow cylinder for use in making cigarettes.
(f) "Commercial cigarette-making machine" means a machine that is operated in a retail establishment and that is capable of being loaded with loose tobacco, cigarette paper or tubes, and any other components related to the production of roll-your-own cigarettes, including filters.
(g) "Department" means the department of revenue.
(h) "Governmental entity" means:
(i) The United States;
(ii) The state of Washington (state) including, its departments and institutions, as distinct from its corporate agencies or instrumentalities; and
(iii) Any municipal corporation or political subdivision of the state of Washington.
(i) "Indian tribal organization" means a federally recognized Indian tribe, or tribal entity, and includes an Indian wholesaler or retailer that is owned by an Indian who is an enrolled tribal member conducting business under tribal license or similar tribal approval within Indian country. For purposes of this rule, the terms "Indian," "Indian country," and "Indian tribe" have the same meaning as defined in WAC 458-20-192.
(j) "Manufacture" means the production, assembly, or creation of new cigarettes. For the purposes of this rule, "manufacture" does not necessarily have the same meaning as provided in RCW 82.04.120
(k) "Manufacturer" means a person who manufactures and sells cigarettes.
(l) "Municipal corporation or political subdivision of the state of Washington" means any county, city, town, school district, fire protection district, or other authority identified as a municipal corporation or political subdivision of the state of Washington by statute and that qualifies for the property tax exemption provided by Article VII of the Washington state Constitution.
(m) "Person" means any individual, receiver, administrator, executor, assignee, trustee in bankruptcy, trust, estate, firm, copartnership, joint venture, club, company, joint stock company, business trust, municipal corporation, political subdivision of the state of Washington, corporation, limited liability company, association, society, or any group of individuals acting as a unit, whether mutual, cooperative, fraternal, nonprofit, or otherwise and the United States or any instrumentality thereof.
(n) "Place of business" means any location where business is transacted with, or sales are made to, customers. The term includes, but is not limited to, any vending machine and any vehicle, truck, vessel or the like at which sales are made.
(o) "Possession" means both:
(i) Physical possession by the purchaser; and
(ii) When cigarettes are being transported to or held for the purchaser or his or her designee by a person other than the purchaser, constructive possession by the purchaser or his or her designee, which constructive possession is deemed to occur at the location of the cigarettes being so transported or held.
(p) "Retailer" means every person, other than a wholesaler, who purchases, sells, offers for sale or distributes any one or more of the articles taxed herein, irrespective of quantity or amount, or the number of sales, and all persons operating under a retailer's registration certificate.
(q) "Roll-your-own cigarettes" means cigarettes produced by a commercial cigarette-making machine.
(r) "Sale" means any transfer of the ownership of, title to, or possession of property for a valuable consideration.
(s) "Stamp" means any stamp authorized by the state of Washington, including the stamp or stamps by use of which the cigarette tax is paid or identification is made of those cigarettes with respect to which no tax is imposed.
(t) "United States" means:
(i) The federal government, including the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, its departments, and federal entities exempt from state or local taxation by reason of specific federal statutory exemption.
The mere fact that an entity is a federal entity, such as an instrumentality of the federal government or a federal corporation, does not mean that the entity is immune from tax. The taxability of a federal entity depends on the benefits and immunities conferred upon it by Congress. Thus, to determine the current taxable status of federal entities, the relevant portion of the federal law should be examined.
(ii) "United States" does not include entities associated with, but not a part of the United States, such as the National Guard (an instrumentality of the state of Washington). Nor does it include entities contracting with the United States government to administer its programs.
(u) "Wholesaler" means every person who purchases, sells, or distributes cigarettes to retailers for the purpose of resale only.
(103) Imposition of tax. The cigarette tax is imposed on the first person to sell, use, consume, handle, possess, or distribute cigarettes in Washington. Please refer to subsection (302) of this rule for an explanation of the measure and rate of the tax.
(a) Payment. Payment of the cigarette tax is made through the purchase of stamps from banks authorized by the department to sell the stamps. Please refer to subsection (301) of this rule for an explanation of stamping requirements.
(b) Possession of cigarettes in Washington state.
(i) Every person (A) in possession of unstamped cigarettes in this state, and (B) not specifically exempt by law, is liable for payment of the cigarette tax as provided in chapter 82.24
RCW and this rule.
(ii) Active duty or retired military personnel, and their dependents, may purchase cigarettes for their own consumption on military reservations without paying the state tax (see Part V). However, such persons are not permitted to give or resell those cigarettes to others.
(iii) Possession of unstamped and untaxed cigarettes, and possession of counterfeit cigarettes, are criminal offenses in this state. See Part VII.
Part II -Wholesale and Retail Cigarette Vendor Licensing Requirements and Responsibilities
(201) License required.
No person, other than a governmental entity or an Indian tribal organization, may engage in the retail or wholesale distribution of cigarettes in this state without a license. Failure to obtain the required license prior to selling cigarettes at wholesale or retail is a criminal act. RCW 82.24.500
(202) Cigarette wholesaler license. Prior to the sale or distribution of cigarettes at wholesale, each wholesaler must first obtain a cigarette wholesaler license from the department through its business licensing service.
(a) Background check. Each wholesaler must undergo a criminal background check by the board before a license will be issued. RCW 82.24.510
. See chapter 314-33 WAC for board standards. Failure to provide information sufficient to complete the background check may result in denial of the license by the department.
(b) Application. Application for a license or renewal of a license is made on forms supplied by the department and must be accompanied by the annual license fee as provided in chapter 82.24
RCW. A cigarette wholesaler license is valid for one year from the date it is issued.
(c) Multiple locations. If the wholesaler sells, stores, or intends to sell, cigarettes at more than one place of business, whether temporary or permanent, a separate license with a license fee as provided in chapter 82.24
RCW is required for each additional place of business. Each license must be exhibited in the place of business for which it is issued.
(d) Bond required. Each licensed wholesaler must file a bond with the department in an amount determined by the department, but not less than five thousand dollars. The bond must be executed by the wholesaler as principal, and by a corporation approved by the department and authorized to engage in business as a surety company in this state, as surety. The bond must run concurrently with the cigarette wholesaler license.
(203) Duties and responsibilities of licensed wholesalers.
(a) Stamps. Except as provided in Parts IV and VIII of this rule, only licensed wholesalers may purchase or obtain cigarette stamps. Wholesalers are prohibited by law from selling or providing stamps to any other wholesaler or person.
(b) Numbering. Each roll of stamps, or group of sheets, has a separate serial number. The department keeps records of which wholesaler purchases each roll or group of sheets. Wholesalers and retailers of roll-your-own cigarettes are prohibited from possessing stamps other than those specifically issued to them.
(c) Sales restricted. Wholesalers selling cigarettes in this state may sell:
(i) Stamped or unstamped cigarettes to other Washington licensed cigarette wholesalers;
(ii) State tax stamped cigarettes only to Washington retailers who have a current cigarette retailer license or to an Indian tribal organization;
(iii) Tribal tax stamped cigarettes to Indian tribal organizations if the Indian tribal organization is subject to a cigarette compact between the state of Washington and the Indian tribe; or
(iv) Tax-exempt stamped cigarettes to an Indian tribal organization if the Indian tribe does not have a cigarette compact and is subject to the cigarette allocation per WAC 458-20-192.
(d) Unstamped cigarettes. Except as provided in Parts IV, V, and VIII of this rule, no person other than a licensed wholesaler may possess unstamped cigarettes in this state. Cigarettes are "unstamped" if they do not have a "stamp" as the term is defined in subsection (102)(s). Licensed wholesalers may possess unstamped cigarettes in this state only in the following circumstances:
(i) Licensed wholesalers may possess unstamped cigarettes for up to seventy-two hours after receipt; however, the cigarettes must be stamped on or before sale or transfer to any other party other than another licensed wholesaler. Licensed wholesalers may possess unstamped cigarettes for more than seventy-two hours after receipt if they receive prior written permission from the department to do so.
(ii) Licensed wholesalers may set aside, without stamping, that portion of their stock reasonably necessary for conducting sales to persons outside this state or to instrumentalities of the federal government, so long as the licensed wholesalers have furnished a surety bond in a sum equal to eighty percent of the amount of tax that would be affixed to the cigarettes that are set aside for the conduct of such business without affixing the stamps. All unstamped stock must be kept separate and apart from stamped stock.
(e) Transfers. Wholesalers in possession of unstamped cigarettes under subsection (204)(d) of this rule that are transferred by the wholesaler to another facility within this state must be transferred in compliance with RCW 82.24.250
(204) Cigarette retailer license. Prior to the retail sale or distribution of cigarettes, each retailer must first be issued a cigarette retailer license from the department through its business licensing service. A license is required for each location at which cigarettes are sold at retail. Each license must be exhibited at the place of business for which it is issued.
(a) Background check. Each retailer must undergo a criminal background check by the board before a license will be issued. RCW 82.24.510
. See chapter 314-33 WAC for board standards. Failure to provide information sufficient to complete the background check may result in denial of the license by the department.
(b) Application. Applications for a license or renewal of a license are made on forms supplied by the department and must be accompanied by the annual license fee as provided in chapter 82.24
RCW. A retail cigarette license is valid for one year from the date it is issued.
(c) Multiple locations. A separate license with a license fee as provided in chapter 82.24
RCW is required for each additional place of business at which the retailer operates. Each license must be exhibited in the place of business for which it is issued.
(d) Cigarette vending machine license.
Retailers who have received a cigarette retailer license and operate cigarette vending machines must obtain a cigarette vending machine license from the department and are required to pay an additional annual fee as set forth in chapter 82.24
RCW for each vending machine.
(e) Commercial cigarette making machine license.
Retailers who have received a cigarette retailer license and tobacco products retailer license (see WAC 458-20-185) and operate commercial cigarette making machines must obtain a commercial cigarette making machine license from the department and are required to pay an additional annual fee as set forth in chapter 82.24
RCW for each location with a machine. Each license must be exhibited in the place of business for which it is issued.
Persons operating a commercial cigarette making machine are also subject to federal licensing requirements as a cigarette manufacturer. Please contact the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury.
(205) Duties and responsibilities of retailers.
(a) No retailer in this state may possess unstamped cigarettes unless he or she is also a licensed wholesaler.
(b) Retailers may obtain cigarettes only from cigarette wholesalers licensed by this state.
(206) Additional requirements for manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers.
Persons making wholesale or retail sales of cigarettes or manufacturing cigarettes must comply with all the provisions of chapters 70.155
(207) Licensing enforcement. The board has the licensing enforcement responsibilities for cigarettes. See chapters 314-33 and 314-34 WAC for rules related to the board's enforcement of cigarette licensing.
Part III - Stamping, Rates, and Refunds
(301) Cigarette stamps.
(a) Stamps indicating payment of the cigarette tax must be affixed prior to any sale, use, consumption, handling, possession, or distribution of all cigarettes other than those specifically exempted as explained in Part V of this rule. The stamp must be affixed securely and applied one time (not to be reused) to the smallest container or package (such as a pack of cigarettes rather than a carton of cigarettes), unless the department, in its sole discretion, determines that it is impractical to do so. Stamps must be of the type authorized by the department and affixed in such a manner that they cannot be removed from the package or container without being mutilated or destroyed. Further, the stamps must be affixed in such manner as to permit the department to readily ascertain by inspection whether or not such tax has been paid. RCW 82.24.030
(1). To that end, any package that is missing more than fifty percent of the stamp will be considered unstamped and untaxed.
(b) Licensed wholesalers may purchase state-approved cigarette stamps from authorized banks. Payment for stamps must be made at the time of purchase unless the wholesaler has prior approval of the department to defer payment and furnishes a surety bond equal to the proposed monthly credit limit. Payments under a deferred plan are due within thirty days following purchase. Licensed wholesalers are compensated for affixing the stamps at the rate of $6.00 per thousand stamps affixed (the "stamping allowance").
(a) The Washington state cigarette tax is imposed on a per cigarette basis. The rate of the tax is a combination of statutory rates found in chapter 82.24
(b) When the rate of tax increases, the first person who sells, uses, consumes, handles, possesses, or distributes previously taxed cigarettes after the rate increase is liable for the additional tax.
(303) Refunds. Any person may request a refund of the face value of the stamps when the tax is not applicable and the stamps are returned to the department.
(a) Forms. The claim for refund must be filed on a form provided by the department. Documentation supporting the claim must be provided at the time the claim for refund is made as specified on the form. The department has the following forms for cigarette tax refund claims:
(i) Cigarette Tax Claim for Refund form. The form is for wholesalers who have returned stamped cigarettes to the manufacturer or are returning damaged or unused stamps to the department. An affidavit or certificate from the manufacturer for stamped cigarettes returned to the manufacturer for destruction or by an agent of the department verifying the voiding of stamps and authorizing the refund must accompany the claim for refund.
(ii) Tribal Member Claim for Refund form. This refund form is for Indian tribal members who purchase state stamped cigarettes as consumers within their own Indian country.
(b) Refunds may be claimed for stamped cigarettes if the stamps are:
(i) Damaged, or unfit for sale, and as a result are destroyed or returned to the manufacturer or distributor; or
(ii) Improperly or partially affixed through burns, jams, double stamps, stamped on carton flaps, or improperly removed from the stamp roll.
Refunds for stamped cigarettes will not include the stamping allowance.
Part IV - Roll-Your-Own Cigarettes
(a) Licenses required. Only retailers licensed to sell cigarettes in Washington may provide consumers with access to a commercial cigarette making machine to make roll-your-own cigarettes. Retailers must also be licensed to sell tobacco products in Washington in order to sell the tobacco to make roll-your-own cigarettes.
(b) Stamped containers. A retailer may not allow consumers to use a commercial cigarette making machine unless the retailer provides the consumer with a box or similar container to transport the roll-your-own cigarettes affixed with cigarette stamps, and the consumer transports the cigarettes from the retailer only in such box or similar container. A retailer must provide cigarette tubes to a consumer in one or more twenty unit denominations. For purposes of this rule, a "similar container" to a box is any package used to transport roll-your-own cigarettes.
Retailers of roll-your-own cigarettes must purchase and affix roll-your-own cigarette tax stamps for the cigarettes produced through the cigarette making machine. Retailers must contact the department's ((special programs
))taxpayer account administration
division to purchase the stamps. Stamps affixed must be for an amount equaling the cigarette tax due. Each cigarette tube or paper provided to the consumer is deemed a cigarette for purposes of imposing and collecting the cigarette tax. Stamps must be of the type authorized by the department and affixed in the manner provided for wholesalers in subsection (301)(a) of this rule. Retailers purchasing stamps for roll-your-own cigarettes are compensated for affixing the stamps with the stamping allowance provided under subsection (301)(b) of this rule, as well as an additional amount of five cents per cigarette to offset the cost of the tobacco products tax under chapter 82.26
RCW and WAC 458-20-185. See RCW 82.24.030
(6) for additional rules relating to the affixing of stamps for roll-your-own cigarettes.
Part V - Exemptions
(501) In general. There are limited exemptions from the cigarette tax provided by law. This part discusses exemptions and the procedures that must be followed to qualify for an exemption for certain government sales and sales in interstate commerce. For exemptions for sales in Indian country, please see Part VIII of this rule.
(502) Government sales. The cigarette tax does not apply to the sale of cigarettes to:
(a) The United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard exchanges and commissaries and Navy or Coast Guard ships' stores;
(b) The United States Veteran's Administration; or
(c) Any person authorized to purchase from the federal instrumentalities named in (a) or (b) above, if the cigarettes are purchased from the instrumentality for personal consumption.
(503) Interstate commerce. The cigarette tax does not apply to cigarettes sold to persons licensed as cigarette wholesalers in other states when, as a condition of the sale, the seller either delivers the cigarettes to the buyer at a point outside this state, or delivers the same to a common carrier with the shipment consigned by the seller to the buyer at a location outside this state.
Part VI - Transporting Cigarettes in Washington
(601) Transportation of cigarettes restricted.
No person other than a licensed wholesaler may transport unstamped cigarettes in this state except as specifically set forth in RCW 82.24.250
and this rule, or as may be allowed under a cigarette compact under RCW 43.06.450
. Licensed wholesalers transporting unstamped cigarettes in this state must do so only in their own vehicles unless they have given prior notice to the board of their intent to transport unstamped cigarettes in a vehicle belonging to another person.
(602) Notice required.
Persons other than licensed wholesalers using their own vehicles intending to transport unstamped cigarettes in this state must first give notice to the board of their intent to do so, except as provided under RCW 82.24.250
(5), or other applicable law.
(603) Transportation of unstamped cigarettes. All persons transporting unstamped cigarettes must have in their actual possession invoices or delivery tickets for such cigarettes. The invoices or delivery tickets must show the true name and address of the consignor or seller, the true name and address of the consignee or purchaser, and the quantity and brands of the cigarettes transported. It is the duty of the person responsible for the delivery or transport of the cigarettes to ensure that all drivers, agents, or employees have the delivery tickets or invoices in their actual possession for all such shipments.
(604) Purchase or consignment.
If the unstamped cigarettes transported pursuant to subsection (601), (602), or (603) of this rule are consigned to or purchased by any person in this state, that purchaser or consignee must be a person who is authorized by chapter 82.24
RCW to possess unstamped cigarettes in this state. As provided in RCW 82.24.250
, the following persons are "authorized by chapter 82.24
RCW to possess unstamped cigarettes in this state":
(a) A wholesaler, licensed under Washington state law;
(b) The United States or an agency thereof;
(c) Any person, including an Indian tribal organization, who, after notice has been given to the board as provided in subsection (602) of this rule, brings or causes to be brought in the state unstamped cigarettes, if within seventy-two hours after receipt of the cigarettes the person has caused stamps to be affixed in accordance with subsection (301) of this rule;
(d) Any purchaser or consignee of unstamped cigarettes, including an Indian tribal organization, who has given notice to the board in advance of receiving unstamped cigarettes and who within seventy-two hours after receipt of the cigarettes has caused the stamps to be affixed in accordance with subsection (301) of this rule.
(605) Compliance required.
No person may possess or transport cigarettes in this state unless the cigarettes have been properly stamped or that person has fully complied with the requirements of RCW 82.24.250
and this rule. Failure to comply with the requirements of RCW 82.24.250
is a criminal act. Cigarettes in the possession of persons who have failed to comply are deemed contraband and are subject to seizure and forfeiture under RCW 82.24.130
Part VII - Enforcement and Administration
(701) Books and records.
An accurate set of records showing all transactions related to the purchase, sale, or distribution of cigarettes must be retained. RCW 82.24.090
. These records may be combined with those required in connection with the tobacco products tax (see WAC 458-20-185), if there is a segregation therein of the amounts involved. All records must be preserved for five years from the date of the transaction.
(702) Reports and returns. The department may require any person dealing with cigarettes in this state to complete and return forms, as furnished by the department, setting forth sales, inventory, and other data required by the department to maintain control over trade in cigarettes.
(a) Manufacturers and wholesalers selling stamped, unstamped, or untaxed cigarettes must submit a complete record of sales of cigarettes in this state monthly. This report is due no later than the fifteenth day of the calendar month and must include all transactions occurring in the previous month.
(b) Persons making sales of tax-exempt cigarettes to Indian tribes or Indian retailers pursuant to WAC 458-20-192 (9)(a) must transmit a copy of the invoice for each such sale to the ((special programs))taxpayer account administration division of the department prior to shipment.
(c) Wholesalers selling stamped cigarettes manufactured by nonparticipating manufacturers as defined in WAC 458-20-264 must report all such sales to the ((special programs))taxpayer account administration division no later than the twenty-fifth day of the calendar month and must include all transactions occurring in the previous month. See WAC 458-20-264, National Uniform Tobacco Settlement, for more details on this report.
(d) A person who sells, transfers, or ships for profit cigarettes (as such term is defined in 15 U.S.C. Sec. 375) in interstate commerce, whereby such cigarettes are shipped into Washington, or who advertises or offers such cigarettes for sale, transfer, or shipment in this state, must file a report as required under 15 U.S.C. Sec. 376. This report is due no later than the 10th day of each calendar month and must include a memorandum or invoice covering all shipments of cigarettes made into Washington during the previous calendar month.
(e) Washington consumers who purchase cigarettes outside Washington state, or from some other source without paying Washington taxes, must pay both the cigarette tax and the use tax directly to the department of revenue within seventy-two hours of first possessing them in this state using a "Tax Declaration for Cigarettes" form, which may be obtained from the department.
(703) Criminal provisions.
RCW prohibits certain activities with respect to cigarettes. Persons handling cigarettes within this state must refer to these statutes. The prohibited activities include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) Transportation, possession, or receiving 10,000 or fewer cigarettes.
Transportation, possession or receiving 10,000 or fewer unstamped cigarettes is prohibited unless the notice requirements set forth in RCW 82.24.250
have been met; failure to meet those notice requirements is a gross misdemeanor. RCW 82.24.110
(1)(n) and (o).
(b) Transportation, possession, or receiving more than 10,000 cigarettes.
Transportation, possession, or receiving more than 10,000 unstamped cigarettes is prohibited unless the notice requirements set forth in RCW 82.24.250
have been met; failure to meet those notice requirements is a felony. RCW 82.24.110
(c) Forgery or counterfeiting of stamps.
Alteration, fabrication, forgery, and counterfeiting of stamps are felonies. RCW 82.24.100
(d) Counterfeit cigarettes.
The manufacture, sale, or possession of counterfeit cigarettes in this state is a felony. RCW 82.24.570
(704) Search, seizure, and forfeiture.
Any collection agent of the department, enforcement officer of the board, or law enforcement officer of this state may search for, seize, and subsequently dispose of unstamped cigarette packages and containers, counterfeit cigarettes, conveyances of all kinds (including aircraft, vehicles, and vessels) used for the transportation of unstamped and/or counterfeit cigarettes, and vending machines used for the sale of unstamped and/or counterfeit cigarettes. See RCW 82.24.130
, et seq., for provisions relating to search, seizure, and forfeiture of property, possible redemption of property, and for treatment of such property in the absence of redemption.
provides a penalty for failure to affix the cigarette stamps or to cause the stamps to be affixed as required, or to pay any tax due under chapter 82.24
RCW. In addition to the tax deemed due, a penalty equal to the greater of $10.00 per package of unstamped cigarettes or $250.00 will be assessed. Interest is also assessed on the amount of the tax at the rate as computed under RCW 82.32.050
(2) from the date the tax became due until the date of payment. The department may, in its sole discretion, cancel all or part of the penalty for good cause.
Part VIII - Sales in Indian Country
(801) Definitions. The definitions of "Indian," "Indian country," and "Indian tribe" in WAC 458-20-192 apply to this rule.
(802) Cigarette compacts.
The state cigarette tax does not apply to cigarettes taxed by an Indian tribe in accordance with a cigarette compact under RCW 43.06.450
. Cigarette wholesalers making sales in conformance with such compact will be required to obtain and affix a unique tribal stamp prior to sale. For additional information, wholesalers should contact the Indian tribe in question and the department.
(803) Sales to Indians in Indian country. The state cigarette tax does not apply to cigarettes sold in Indian country to tribal members of the particular tribe where the cigarettes are purchased for personal consumption. Sales of cigarettes to nonmembers are subject to the tax. Licensed wholesalers may sell exempt stamped cigarettes to tribal retailers in accordance with the requirements of WAC 458-20-192 and the instructions of the department. For reporting such sales, see subsection (702)(b) of this rule.
(804) Refunds. Indians who purchase, in their own Indian country, cigarettes to which state stamps have been affixed may apply for a refund under subsection (303) of this rule.
(805) Licenses. Indians and Indian tribes engaged in business in Indian country are not required to obtain a cigarette wholesaler or state-issued retailer license in order to purchase cigarettes from state-licensed wholesalers.
(806) Preemption. Application of the state cigarette tax may be preempted by tribal, federal, or state law, depending on the circumstance. For additional information, please consult WAC 458-20-192.