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SMALL BUSINESS NEWS

17 Jul 2017

 

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Cook County, IL Sweetened Beverage Tax

 

On November 10, 2016, the Cook County Board of Commissioners passed the Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax Ordinance. The tax imposed will be at the rate of $0.01 per ounce on the retail sale of all sweetened beverages in Cook County.

Under the new ordinance the Retailer is responsible for collecting the tax from the consumer and passing it on to the Distributor who in turn will remit the tax to the County.

Retailers are responsible for adding the tax to beverages sold.

Businesses who sell sweetened beverages (Retailers & Distributors) will have to file monthly (20th) with the County Department of Tax.  Retailers and Distributors are required to keep meticulous records.

Distributors are not required to collect and remit taxes on sales made to another Distributor.  They are also not required to collect taxes on sales made to other Distributors or Retailers outside Cook County.

Taxes are not collected to sales made to passengers on interstate carriers.

Taxes are are also not collected from purchases that are exempt from taxes under federal law.

These items are exempt from the tax:

 

-100% natural fruit/vegetable juice, syrup and powder with no added sweetener

 

-Milk, soy, rice, or similar milk substitutes that are the primary ingredient (more than 50%)

 

-Unsweetened drinks to which a purchaser can add, or can request that a retailer add, sugar, at the point of sale

 

-Infant formula Beverages for medical use Weight reduction/therapeutic nutritional meal replacements

 

-Any syrup or powder that the consumer himself or herself combines with other ingredients to create a beverage

If a refund is requested resulting from the return of product by a Retailer, the Distributor must refund the tax amount to the Retailer before applying for a refund from the Department.

Violations of the ordnance will be met with penalties.  They includes a fine of $1,000.00 for the first offense, and a fine of $2,000.00 for the second and each subsequent offense.

On or before August 20, 2017, every Retailer of sweetened beverage will be required to submit a Floor Tax Return and remit the applicable tax amount. The Floor Tax return must reflect the Retailer’s inventory, on which tax was not previously paid, that was in his/her possession on June 30, 2017. Further information will be forthcoming.

Established timelines:

 

August 20, 2017 – Retailers must remit to the Department its floor tax return and payment.

 

August 20, 2017 – Distributors must remit to the Department its tax payment and monthly return reflecting July 2017 activity.

 

August 20, 2017 – Retailers must remit to the Department its floor tax return and payment.

 

August 20, 2017 – Distributors must remit to the Department its tax payment and monthly return reflecting July 2017 activity.

Visit the FAQ page to get specific questions answered and learn more.

The implementation of this tax was temporarily halted due to a filing by the Illinois Retail Merchant Association  (Temporary Restraining Order) citing violations of the uniformity clause of the Illinois Constitution and impermissible vagueness.   The order is now in effect as of 2 August 2017.

Update:  The Cook County Board voted to end the soda tax.  On December 1, 2017 the Cook County Soda Tax will come to an end.

Sources:
Sweetened Beverage Tax Ordnance
Cook County Sweetened Beverage Webpage
Cook County Sweetened Beverage FAQ page
IRMA Filing with The Circuit Court of Cook County
Temporary Restraining Order
IRMA


By Wendy Stewart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

  
 

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