The Washington Post reported this week that the U.S. Senate has approved language that would classify tobacco shops and convenience stores that offer roll-your-own (RYO) cigarette machines as manufacturers.
Slapping the label of manufacturer on these RYO stores would subject them to a series of federal and state regulations that would in all probability put an end to the RYO machines by making them too expensive to license and operate.
The language was tucked into an amendment to the $109 billion federal highway bill that was written to provide aid for rural schools and was approved on a bipartisan vote. The RYO language was contained in a single paragraph in the Secure Rural Schools amendment.
The Post reported that the sponsor of the rural school amendment, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), said the $97 million the RYO provision would generate could help support the $346 million program to support schools and road projects.
Earlier this month, DOR's blog reported that RYO machines were coming under intense scrutiny in many state houses due to lost tax revenue, given that RYO cigarettes are taxed at a fraction of those commercially packaged. In Massachusetts, Gov. Deval Patrick has proposed increasing the excise tax on loose tobacco to approximate the $2.51 excise tax now paid on a pack of cigarettes, as well as to institute an annual license fee of $25,000 for each RYO machine.
Class in Session at DOR University posted on Jan 20
Looking to educate yourself this tax season? Want to learn more about tax options, or DOR-related issues? All this can be achieved at DOR University, the Department of Revenue’s free online e-learning module. DOR University, created to offer free tax education to the public and …Continue Reading Class in Session at DOR University
Multi-agency investigation in two states leads to charges posted on Nov 19
Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Illegal Tobacco Commission, chaired by DOR Commissioner Amy Pitter, released a report on the illicit tobacco trade which recommends that teaming up with federal, state and local law enforcement can be a successful model for combatting such criminal activity. And …Continue Reading Multi-agency investigation in two states leads to charges
Top priority: protecting the taxpayer and the Commonwealth’s revenue posted on Oct 8
With identity theft on the rise, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue is taking new steps to combat the problem and protect taxpayers. In some cases, this means asking taxpayers to take a quiz before getting their state refund check. DOR is teaming up with LexisNexis …Continue Reading Top priority: protecting the taxpayer and the Commonwealth’s revenue