We know this time of year gets a little hectic with festivities to attend and business projects to finish up. But preparing for end-of-year reporting now can save you some headaches down the road. Recently we hosted a webinar to share tips and tricks to make reporting less of a hassle in the coming year. We’ve summarized some points on wine shipping legislation and best practices for reporting below, but you can also download all of the slides from our exclusive webinar. Remember: A little preparation now can help keep the holiday joy from turning into a New-Year panic in January.
The webinar was presented by Sam Straka, Direct Product Manager; Alex Koral, Compliance Law Research Associate; Alex Umbhau, PRO Customer Success Manager; and Taylor Hannegan, Direct Product Specialist. Our lovely team covered:
- Updates to wine shipping legislation
- Changes on the horizon for 2016
- New states using Product Registration Online (PRO)
- Best practices for reporting
- Updates in ShipCompliant
Alex Koral presented the latest updates to state requirements for reporting and wine shipping legislation and shared changes to look out for in 2016. Massachusetts, a new state allowing direct shipping just this year, instituted an Annual Direct Shipping Report, which is due on January 31, 2016. The state will provide an excel template and guidelines for reporting requirements, which is specifically for 2015 direct sales. In November, Massachusetts updated and clarified its tax rates for still wine ($0.55 rate) and sparkling wine ($0.70), and consequently, rebates or refunds are likely.
Arizona shifted the reporting period for its Annual Direct Production Report from July 1 – June 30 to January 1 to December 31. What does this mean for you? Arizona’s Annual Direct Production Reports are now due in January, not July. Arizona is now using a new online portal and simplified its Transactional Privilege Tax (TPT).
Earlier this year, Iowa changed its required reporting frequency from a monthly to a semi-annual reporting period effective July 1, 2015, with reports due in January and July. Iowa’s Direct Shipping Report, which will cover the second half of 2015, is now due on January 10, 2016.
Also effective July 1, 2015, Arkansas updated its direct tax requirements to include local taxes. Both state and local sales and use taxes now apply to direct sales and must be reported and assessed.
Lastly, South Dakota is the newest state to allow direct-to-consumer shipping! South Dakota will require permits, taxes, quarterly shipment reports, due on the 15th of the month following each quarterly period, so the first report will be due April 15, 2016. These reports are required to include the following:
- Winery name and license information
- Consumers’ names, addresses, and amount received
- Wine type, brand label, quantity, and taxes paid per shipment
- Total of all wine shipped direct during the quarter period
Alex Umbhau explained Product Registration Online (PRO), which streamlines and expedites the state registration process for licensees and states. Its mission is to reduce your time to market and expedite approval time, and it saves a few trees in the process! There are now 16 states that accept submissions via PRO, the newest of which are Minnesota, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Of these 16 states, five mandate PRO, which means that you are required to use PRO to register in Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and New Mexico. New Mexico recently mandated PRO, with a November 1 cutoff date. Minnesota is a new PRO state, which will allow 3-year registrations and a 60-day renewal period. South Dakota is currently in the midst of its renewal process (until December 31), so get your renewal applications in before the end of the year!
Taylor Hannegan shared some best practices and tips and tricks to improve your reporting and reconciliation processes. He explained how to perform a report health check, underlining the importance of logging into your e-file account and verifying your report type, account number, and credentials and authorization before the report due date.
Taylor also suggested that ShipCompliant users confirm your report settings and report frequencies to avoid any unnecessary issues, potential late fees, and hassle with end-of-year reporting. He did a deep dive into reconciliation and the Advanced Controller Report (ACR) within ShipCompliant, which is available for ShipCompliant users to view in the Knowledge Base. Taylor provided insight into amended returns, including the importance of only paying the difference owed. Finally, he offered advice on how to better communicate with the state agencies, suggesting that avoiding deadline days and calling in the morning will help save you (and the state) time. He stressed the importance of making sure that you do your research and have your account number, FEIN, and license type available before you make the call.
Our team also discussed two main updates within the ShipCompliant platform, specifically related to Illinois and California. Within your ShipCompliant account, under tax preferences, you can de-select the checkbox to collect tax on freight in Illinois if your company offers a pickup option. To learn more, check out our blog post on Illinois tax on freight. In California, effective July 2015, there is a new reporting frequency available, which includes quarterly pre-payments. These pre-payments follow the BOE pre-payment logic. Lastly, our team shared some resources that may help you with end-of-year reporting questions. If you’re stumped, check these out or contact us.
- Beverage Alcohol Community
- ShipCompliant Blog
- ShipCompliant Tools (Free)
- Knowledge Base (ShipCompliant account required)
Don’t be caught off guard in January when filing end-of-year reports! Download and review the slides from this webinar and reach out with any questions!