On May 11th, the Governor of North Carolina signed legislation (S 729) changing the period for which NC wine shipper permittees must submit excise tax returns and accompanying excise taxes to the North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR) from monthly to annual. With this change, excise returns and taxes will be due on or before January 15th of the following calendar year.
The legislation took effect immediately, but direct shippers may transition from the current monthly to the new annual filing of returns/taxes any time before the end of 2016. That is, NCDOR will continue to accept monthly returns and tax remissions for the rest of 2016. The returns filed on form B-C-786, Wineries and Wine Shipper Permittees Excise Tax Return, are still due on the 15th of the month.
Wineries that choose to cease filing monthly in 2016 will need to file a return and pay the accompanying excise taxes for those months for which they have not already filed returns and paid excise taxes during 2016; this is due on or before January 15, 2017. A new version of the B-C-786 form for the annual reporting period will be posted on NCDOR’s website prior to this January 15th deadline.
In 2017, only the annual filing period will be available. The excise return and excise tax remittance, covering January 1 through December 31, 2017, is due no later than January 15, 2018.
Excise tax returns for NC must list the amount of wine delivered to North Carolina wholesalers, importers, and consumers during the covered period; reports must be filed even if there is no activity to report. For more details about the change in NC excise tax return filing and remission, see the Wine Shipper Permittee notice on the NCDOR website and also attached.
Note that this new law does NOT change the requirement for reporting and remissions of sales taxes on a monthly basis. However, a wine shipper permittee whose monthly sales tax liability is consistently less than $100.00 may file a quarterly return with the approval of the Secretary. Wine shipper permittees must continue to collect and pay state and local sales taxes to NCDOR as usual. And wineries must continue to file Quarterly Shipment Reports with the NC Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.
For further clarification, in order to make off-site (over internet, mail, or phone) direct-to-consumer sales, wineries must obtain a wine shipper permit from the NC Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission and register with NCDOR prior to shipping wine to NC residents. Note that on-site wine sales and shipments to NC residents do NOT require the winery to have a North Carolina direct wine shippers permit. Wineries may ship up to 5.5 nine-liter cases (50 liters) of unfortified wine per consumer per visit for on-site orders. However, only NC residents may only receive two cases of wine per month, if they make off-site purchases.