|Waives late filing penalty provisions, retroactive to February 29, 2020, for microbreweries, domestic breweries, and beer distributors licensed under RCW 66.24.290, and wineries and wine distributors licensed under RCW 66.24.210 while Governor's Proclamation 20-13 and 20-26 are in effect;
|Supports the ability of businesses to adjust to the COVID-19 outbreak; and
|Reduces economic hardships suffered by businesses during the temporary suspension of business under Governor's Proclamation 20-13.
(1) Suspension or revocation of license
(a) Failure to make a report and/or pay the taxes in the manner and dates outlined in this chapter will be sufficient ground for the board to suspend or revoke a liquor license, wine shipper permit, or certificate of approval (per RCW 66.08.150, 66.24.010, 66.24.120, 66.24.206, 66.20.370, 66.20.380, and 66.24.270).
(b) The suspension will remain in effect until all missing reports and/or taxes have been filed with the board (see WAC 314-19-010(1) for the definition of "missing").
A penalty of two percent per month will be assessed on any tax payments postmarked after the twentieth day of the month following the reporting period of the transactions (per the reporting requirements outlined in WAC 314-19-015, RCW 66.24.290, and 66.24.210). When the twentieth day of the month falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, the filing must be postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service no later than the next postal business day.
Absent a postmark, the date received at the Washington state liquor control board, or designee, will be used to determine if penalties are to be assessed.
(3) Surety bond requirements
(a) What is a surety bond? A "surety bond" is a type of insurance policy that guarantees beer and/or wine tax payment to the state. The surety bond must be:
(i) Executed by a surety company authorized to do business in the state of Washington;
(ii) On a form and in an amount acceptable to the board;
(iii) Payable to the Washington state liquor control board; and
(v) As an option to obtaining a surety bond, a licensee may create an assignment of savings account for the board in the same amount as required for a surety bond. Requests for this option must be submitted in writing to the board's financial division.
(b) When will the board require a surety bond? The board may require a surety bond from a Washington beer and/or wine distributor, domestic microbrewery, domestic brewery, public house, domestic winery, wine shipper, or a beer or wine certificate of approval holder that has a direct shipment privilege. If any of the following occur, the board may require the licensee or permit holder to obtain a surety bond or assignment of savings account, within twenty-one days after an administrative violation notice is issued:
(i) A report or tax payment is missing, as defined in WAC 314-19-010, for two or more consecutive months; or
(ii) A report or tax payment is missing, as defined in WAC 314-19-010, two or more times within a two year period.
(c) What will happen if the licensee does not acquire the surety bond or savings account? Failure to meet the bonding or savings account requirements outlined in subsections (a) and (b) of this rule may result in immediate suspension of license privileges until all missing reports are filed and late taxes have been paid and the surety bond is acquired or the savings account is established.
(d) In what amount and for how long will the board require a surety bond? The amount of a surety bond or savings account required by this chapter must be either $3,000, or the total of the highest four months' worth of tax liability for the previous twelve month period, whichever is greater.
(i) The licensee or permit holder must maintain the bond for at least two years. After the two year period the licensee or permit holder may request an exemption as outlined in subsection (f) of this rule.
(ii) Surety bond and savings account amounts may be reviewed annually and compared to the last twelve months' tax liability of the licensee. If the current bond or savings account amount does not meet the requirements outlined in this section, the licensee or permit holder will be required to increase the bond amount or amount on deposit within twenty-one days.
(e) What action will the board take when a licensee or permit holder holds a surety bond and does not pay taxes due or pays late? If a licensee or permit holder holds a surety bond or savings account, the board will immediately start the process to collect overdue taxes from the surety company or assigned account. If the exact amount of taxes due is not known due to missing reports, the board will estimate the taxes due based on previous production, receipts, and/or sales.
(f) Can a licensee or permit holder request an exemption to the surety bond or savings account requirement? A licensee or permit holder may make a written request to the board's financial division for an exemption from the surety bond or assignment of savings account requirements. The board will grant an exemption once the following criteria are met:
(i) The licensee or permit holder has filed reports and paid applicable taxes to the board for at least two years immediately prior to the exemption request; and
(ii) There have been no late or missing reports or tax payments during the previous two years.