Cook County Provides Guidance on Sweetened Beverage Tax Close-Out Process

The Cook County Department of Revenue has provided guidance to sweetened beverage distributors and retailers regarding the close-out process for the Cook County sweetened beverage tax. The tax has been repealed effective December 1, 2017, and the last tax returns/payments will be due on December 20, 2017. In the case that on December 1, 2017 there is unsold product on which tax was previously remitted, the Department has provided the following guidelines:

  • Retailers who are not registered with the Department and paid tax to a distributor must apply for a credit/refund from their distributors. Distributors should require documentation to substantiate a retailer’s claim.
  • After providing a credit/refund to a retailer, a distributor can then take a credit on their final tax return or apply for a refund from the Department.
  • Retailers who are registered with the Department pursuant to Sweetened Beverage Tax Regulations 2017-1 and 2017-4 can take a credit on their final tax return or apply for a refund. Documentation supporting the credit/refund request must be submitted.
  • Retailers that have in their inventory specific products on which tax was paid via the floor tax return and have not been sold must submit a refund application to the Department. Supporting documentation must show that these specific products have remained in inventory and are the same products for which the floor tax was originally remitted.

The Department has developed new forms that can be used to assist with the credit/refund process: 2017 Sweetened Beverage Retailer Inventory Credit Request Form and Schedule A, and Sweetened Beverage Tax Distributor Credit Form Schedule.

The Department may request additional documentation from the business seeking a credit/refund. If the claim cannot be substantiated by adequate books and records, it will not be allowed. Any documents that record the basis for a credit/refund should be retained by retailers and distributors for seven years. For additional details on the close-out process and the forms mentioned above, visit the Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax webpage. (Sweetened Beverage Tax Close-Out Process, Cook County Department of Revenue)

Posted on November 28, 2017