ATF - The Alcohol and Tobacco Newsletter: Office of Alcohol and Tobacco
Volume 2, Issue 5
May 2001
New Chief of AIE Branch
By the Editor

On May 7, 2001, Sanford Lett began his appointment as Chief, Alcohol Imports/Exports (AIE) Branch, Alcohol & Tobacco Programs Division. AIE Branch carries out ATF's regulatory authority in matters affecting international trade in alcohol beverages. AIE Branch works closely with other Federal agencies to resolve alcohol trade issues. The branch also serves as a technical advisor on alcohol matters to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and in this capacity participates in trade talks with foreign governments and international organizations such as the World Trade Organization.

Mr. Lett began his career with ATF at the National Revenue Center (then Tax Processing Center), Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1989. In 1990, he earned the promotion to position of inspector working from the Columbus, Ohio, post of duty. His career development continued, as he was promoted, in 1997, to the position of Supervisor, Wine Unit, at the National Revenue Center, Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Lett's accomplishments include supervising, during a 5 month period, our Product Compliance Branch (now Alcohol Labeling and Formulation), serving as project officer in the Diversion Branch, and working as program coordinator on the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco's Policy and Programs Coordination Staff.

Mr. Lett majored in administrative management and foreign languages at the University of Cincinnati and worked for several years in Europe as a German/Spanish linguist for the National Security Agency. Prior to joining ATF, he held managerial positions in the private sector that included staff manager, district manager and state supervisor in the insurance industry.

News FlashSpecial Tax Annual Renewal due July 1!
By Shirley Osborne (202) 927-8200

On May 4, ATF mailed preprinted Annual Special Tax Renewal Registration and Return packages for Tax Year 2002 to 290,913 taxpayers, totaling 405,271 business locations. A second renewal mailing will take place on June 4. Special tax is paid for each business location at a tax rate ranging from $250 for alcohol beverage retail dealers to $1,000 for alcohol and tobacco manufacturers and producers. Certain firearms importers and manufacturers also pay the tax.

Special tax is an occupational tax imposed by the Internal Revenue Code and ATF is responsible for collecting the tax. A tax return and payment is due upon initially commencing business activities and again each year by July 1. The tax year runs July 1 through June 30. Special tax is different from many other taxes and is paid in advance of taxable business operations and not after the fact. It is important that taxpayers file their tax returns and pay special tax timely to avoid penalty and interest payments.

Businesses liable for the special tax that have not received the preprinted forms by mid-June, should contact the ATF National Revenue Center toll free at 1-877-882-3277 or direct at (513) 684-2979 during the hours between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Eastern time for assistance and to obtain forms and instructions. Businesses may also contact the nearest ATF Field Division or Headquarters Office for help. ATF Form 5630.5, Special Tax Registration and Return (Alcohol and Tobacco) can be downloaded and printed from the ATF website.

Canadian Tobacco Tax Measures
By Tami Light (202) 927-3580

The Canadian Federal Government has Canadaintroduced a comprehensive package of tax measures designed to improve the health of Canadians by reducing tobacco consumption. This package of tax measures includes a new tobacco tax structure that reduces the incentive to smuggle Canadian-produced tobacco products back into Canada from export markets. The package also includes a Canadian tobacco tax increase. With respect to the tobacco taxes, effective April 6, 2001, a combined federal-provincial tax increase of $4 per carton of cigarettes will be applied in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Additionally, a federal excise tax increase of $1 per 200 grams of fine-cut tobacco and $1 per carton of tobacco sticks will be introduced in all provinces and territories.

Canada's tobacco strategy also provides additional resources to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Solicitor General Canada and the Department of Justice to improve their ability to monitor and assess smuggling activity. These resources will be dedicated to providing timely and accurate information on the nature and extent of contraband activity thereby enabling the Government to establish tobacco tax policy; make decisions on the sustainability, size and frequency of future increases; and evaluate the impact of any tax increase.

ATF is actively working with its Canadian Counterparts in developing initiatives to monitor and assess the illicit cross border tobacco market and associated criminal activity.

Questions or suggestions relating to the Alcohol & Tobacco Newsletter should be directed to the Editor by fax at (202) 927-5611 or by mail at the following address: Bureau of ATF, 650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Room 8110, Attention: Donna Smith, Editor, Alcohol & Tobacco Newsletter, Washington, D.C. 20226.