CHAPTER 220

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES TAX

Table of Contents

Sec. 12-433. Definitions.

Sec. 12-434. Administration by commissioner.

Sec. 12-435. Tax on sale of alcoholic beverages.

Sec. 12-435a. Tax on inventory of alcoholic beverages. Determination of inventory by commissioner. Penalty.

Sec. 12-435b. Tax on certain untaxed alcoholic beverages.

Sec. 12-435c. Requirements related to advertising the sale of untaxed alcoholic beverages for use in Connecticut.

Sec. 12-436. Distributor’s license. Importation of alcoholic beverages. Invoices. Shipment into military reservation.

Sec. 12-437. Returns.

Sec. 12-438. Application for cancellation of distributor’s license; inventory; return.

Sec. 12-439. Payment of tax. Penalties for nonpayment.

Sec. 12-440. Determination of tax.

Sec. 12-441. Delinquent taxes; lien.

Sec. 12-442. Power to examine.

Sec. 12-443. Records to be kept.

Sec. 12-444. Commissioner’s records.

Sec. 12-445. Oaths and subpoenas.

Sec. 12-446. Taxpayer to file security.

Sec. 12-447. Hearings by commissioner.

Sec. 12-448. Appeals from decisions of commissioner.

Sec. 12-449. Regulations and rulings.

Sec. 12-450. Cooperation with Department of Consumer Protection. Suspension of permit.

Sec. 12-451. Additional reciprocal tax.

Sec. 12-452. Penalties for wilful violations concerning payment of tax or filing returns or other documents. Claim for refund.

Sec. 12-453. Exceptions.

Sec. 12-454. Seizure and sale for nonpayment of taxes.


Sec. 12-433. Definitions. Wherever used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires: “Alcoholic beverage” and “beverage” include wine, beer and liquor as defined in this section; “absolute alcohol” means dehydrated alcohol containing not less than ninety-nine per cent by weight of ethyl alcohol; “beer” means any beverage obtained by the alcoholic fermentation of an infusion or decoction of barley, malt and hops in drinking water and containing more than one-half of one per cent of absolute alcohol by volume; “wine” means any alcoholic beverage obtained by the fermentation of natural sugar contents of fruits or other agricultural products containing sugar; “still wine” means any wine that contains not more than three hundred ninety-two one thousandths (0.392) of a gram of carbon dioxide per hundred milliliters of wine, and shall include any fortified wine, cider that is made from the alcoholic fermentation of the juice of apples, vermouth and any artificial or imitation wine or compound sold as “still wine” containing not less than three and two-tenths per cent of absolute alcohol by volume; “sparkling wine” means champagne and any other effervescent wine charged with more than three hundred ninety-two one thousandths (0.392) of a gram of carbon dioxide per hundred milliliters of wine, whether artificially or as a result of secondary fermentation of the wine within the container; “fortified wine” means any wine, the alcoholic contents of which have been increased, by whatever process, beyond that produced by natural fermentation; “liquor” means any beverage which contains alcohol obtained by distillation mixed with drinkable water and other substances in solution; “liquor cooler” means any liquid combined with liquor, as defined in this section, containing not more than seven per cent of alcohol by volume; “gallon” or “wine gallon” means one hundred twenty-eight fluid ounces; “proof gallon” means the equivalent of one wine gallon at 100 proof; “proof spirit” or “proof” shall be held to be that alcoholic liquor which contains one-half by volume of alcohol of a specific gravity of seventy-nine hundred and thirty-nine ten-thousandths (0.7939) at 60° F; “alcohol” means ethyl alcohol, hydrated oxide of ethyl or spirit of wine, from whatever source or by whatever process produced; “person” means any individual, firm, fiduciary, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, trust or association, however formed; “taxpayer” means any person liable to taxation under this chapter except railroad and airline companies so far as they conduct such beverage business in cars or passenger trains or on airplanes; “distributor” means any person, wherever resident or located, who holds a wholesaler’s or manufacturer’s permit or wholesaler or manufacturer permit for beer only issued under chapter 545, or his backer, if any; “licensed distributor” means a distributor holding a license issued by the Commissioner of Revenue Services under the provisions of this chapter; “tax period” means any period of one calendar month, or any part thereof; “barrel” means not less than twenty-eight nor more than thirty-one gallons; “half barrel” means not less than fourteen nor more than fifteen and one-half gallons; “quarter barrel” means not less than seven nor more than seven and three-quarters gallons; “sell” or “sale” includes and applies to gifts, exchanges and barter and includes any alcoholic beverages coming into the possession of a distributor which cannot be satisfactorily accounted for by the distributor to the Commissioner of Revenue Services.

(1949 Rev., S. 4324; P.A. 73-543, S. 12, 14; P.A. 77-614, S. 139, 610; P.A. 87-574, S. 1, 4; P.A. 95-79, S. 32, 189; P.A. 97-243, S. 32, 67.)

History: P.A. 73-543 excepted airlines from consideration as “taxpayers”; P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 87-574 defined “liquor cooler”, effective July 1, 1987, and applicable to sales of liquor coolers on or after that date; P.A. 95-79 redefined “person” to include a limited liability company, effective May 31, 1995; P.A. 97-243 amended definition of still wine to include cider, provided an effervescence standard and added definition of “quarter barrel”, effective June 24, 1997, and applicable to sales occurring on or after July 1, 1997.

Secs. 12-433 to 12-453 cited. 129 C. 657.

Sec. 12-434. Administration by commissioner. The administration of this chapter is vested in the Commissioner of Revenue Services. All forms necessary or convenient for the enforcement of this chapter shall be prescribed, printed and furnished by said commissioner. The provisions of chapter 67, shall, when applicable, apply to the administration of this chapter.

(1949 Rev., S. 4339; June, 1955, S. 2184d; P.A. 77-614, S. 139, 610; P.A. 85-613, S. 99, 154.)

History: P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 85-613 made technical change, substituting reference to chapter 67 for reference to chapter 63.

Sec. 12-435. Tax on sale of alcoholic beverages. Each distributor of alcoholic beverages shall pay a tax to the state on all sales within the state of alcoholic beverages, except sales to licensed distributors, sales of alcoholic beverages which, in the course of such sales, are actually transported to some point without the state and except malt beverages which are consumed on the premises covered by a manufacturer’s permit, at the rates for the respective categories of alcoholic beverages listed below:

(a) Beer, seven dollars and twenty cents for each barrel, three dollars and sixty cents for each half barrel, one dollar and eighty cents for each quarter barrel and twenty-four cents per wine gallon or fraction thereof on quantities less than a quarter barrel;

(b) Liquor, five dollars and forty cents per wine gallon;

(c) Still wines containing not more than twenty-one per cent of absolute alcohol, except as provided in subsections (g) and (h) of this section, seventy-two cents per wine gallon;

(d) Still wines containing more than twenty-one per cent of absolute alcohol and sparkling wines, one dollar and eighty cents per wine gallon;

(e) Alcohol in excess of 100 proof, five dollars and forty cents per proof gallon;

(f) Liquor coolers containing not more than seven per cent of alcohol by volume, two dollars and forty-six cents per wine gallon;

(g) Still wine containing not more than twenty-one per cent of absolute alcohol, produced by a person who produces not more than fifty-five thousand wine gallons of wine during the calendar year, eighteen cents per wine gallon, provided such person presents to each distributor of alcoholic beverages described in this section a certificate, issued by the commissioner, stating that such person produces not more than fifty-five thousand wine gallons of wine during the calendar year. The commissioner is authorized to issue such certificates, prescribe the procedures for obtaining such certificates and prescribe their form; and

(h) Cider containing not more than seven per cent of absolute alcohol shall be subject to the same rate as applies to beer, as provided in subsection (a) of this section.

(1949 Rev., S. 4325; 1961, P.A. 604, S. 9; 1969, P.A. 632, S. 1; June, 1971, P.A. 5, S. 117; P.A. 73-287, S. 1, 2; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-1, S. 5, 15; P.A. 87-574, S. 2, 4; P.A. 89-16, S. 6, 31; P.A. 93-74, S. 33, 67; P.A. 97-243, S. 33, 67; P.A. 11-6, S. 98.)

History: 1961 act increased rates; 1969 act temporarily increased rates for period between July 1, 1969, and June 30, 1971; 1971 act moved closing date for temporary increase to 1973; P.A. 73-287 made increases permanent rates; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-1 provided for an increase of 20% in the amount of tax imposed with respect to each category of alcoholic beverages as listed in this section, effective August 1, 1983, and applicable to sales of alcoholic beverages by distributors on or after that date; P.A. 87-574 added Subdiv. (f) providing for the rate of tax applicable to liquor coolers as defined in Sec. 12-433, effective July 1, 1987, and applicable to sales of liquor coolers on or after that date; P.A. 89-16 provided for increases in the rate of tax applicable to each of the categories of alcoholic beverages, effective March 23, 1989, and applicable to sales of alcoholic beverages on or after April 1, 1989; P.A. 93-74 added Subdiv. (g) re tax rate for wine containing not more than 21% alcohol produced by a person producing not more than 55,000 gallons, effective May 19, 1993, and applicable to sales of alcoholic beverages occurring on and after July 1, 1993; P.A. 97-243 added Subdiv. (h) re cider and made technical changes, effective June 24, 1997, and applicable to sales occurring on or after July 1, 1997; P.A. 11-6 amended Subdiv. (a) by increasing tax from $6.00 to $7.20 on each barrel of beer, from $3.00 to $3.60 on each half barrel, from $1.50 to $1.80 on each quarter barrel and from $.20 to $.24 on quantities less than a quarter barrel, amended Subdiv. (b) by increasing tax on liquor from $4.50 to $5.40 per wine gallon, amended Subdiv. (c) by increasing tax on still wines with not more than 21% of alcohol from $.60 to $.72 per wine gallon, amended Subdiv. (d) by increasing tax on still and sparkling wines from $1.50 to $1.80 per wine gallon, amended Subdiv. (e) by increasing tax on alcohol over 100 proof from $4.50 to $5.40 per proof gallon, amended Subdiv. (f) by increasing tax on liquor coolers from $2.05 to $2.46 per wine gallon, and amended Subdiv. (g) by increasing tax on wine produced in limited quantities from $.15 to $.18 per wine gallon, effective May 4, 2011, and applicable to sales occurring on or after July 1, 2011.

Sec. 12-435a. Tax on inventory of alcoholic beverages. Determination of inventory by commissioner. Penalty. Section 12-435a is repealed.

(1969, P.A. 632, S. 2, 3; P.A. 75-451, S. 1, 2.)

Sec. 12-435b. Tax on certain untaxed alcoholic beverages. A tax is hereby imposed at the rates provided in section 12-435 upon the storage or use within this state of any untaxed alcoholic beverages in the possession of any person other than a licensed distributor or carrier for transit from without this state to a licensed distributor within this state. For the purposes of this section, any untaxed alcoholic beverages unaccounted for in transit, storage, or otherwise, are presumed to be used and consumed in this state by any person, including any distributor, carrier, warehouseman or consumer, last having possession of such untaxed alcoholic beverages.

(P.A. 75-505, S. 1, 2.)

Sec. 12-435c. Requirements related to advertising the sale of untaxed alcoholic beverages for use in Connecticut. Any written advertisement in this state for the sale of untaxed alcoholic beverages for use and consumption in this state shall contain the following words in not less than fourteen point reverse type in block form: “These alcoholic beverages are subject to the payment of the Connecticut alcoholic beverages use tax and the Connecticut use tax and may be subject to seizure as contraband goods.” In the case of any such advertisement being announced verbally, such announcement shall be immediately followed by the words above enclosed in quotation marks. Any person engaged in the business of selling alcoholic beverages, whether or not issued a license by the commissioner under the provisions of this chapter, violating the provisions of this section shall be fined five hundred dollars for each offense.

(P.A. 89-251, S. 11, 203; P.A. 91-129, S. 1, 2.)

History: P.A. 91-129 provided that the required wording be in fourteen point reverse type in block form.

Sec. 12-436. Distributor’s license. Importation of alcoholic beverages. Invoices. Shipment into military reservation. (a)(1) Each distributor of alcoholic beverages, before engaging in such business, shall make application to the Commissioner of Revenue Services, on forms to be prescribed and furnished by the commissioner, for a distributor’s license, which license, in case the applicant has complied with all other laws of the state pertaining to such business, shall authorize the manufacture and processing of alcoholic beverages in this state and importation into this state of alcoholic beverages and the sale within this state of such manufactured, processed or imported beverages.

(2) The commissioner may, in the commissioner’s discretion, refuse to issue a license if the commissioner has reasonable ground to believe that the distributor has wilfully made any false statement of substance with respect to such application for a license, that the distributor has neglected to pay any taxes due to this state or that the distributor has been convicted of violating any of the alcoholic beverages tax laws of this or any other state or the alcoholic beverages tax laws of the United States or has such a criminal record that the commissioner reasonably believes that such distributor is not a suitable person to be issued a license, provided no refusal shall be rendered under this subdivision except in accordance with the provisions of sections 46a-80 and 46a-81.

(b) (1) No person, except a licensed distributor and railroad or airline companies so far as they conduct such beverage business in cars or passenger trains or airplanes, shall sell any alcoholic beverages in this state or possess such beverages with intent to sell, unless such beverages have previously been subject to the tax imposed by this chapter.

(2) (A) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision and sections 30-18 and 30-18a, no person shall ship, transport or import alcoholic beverages into this state unless such alcoholic beverages are delivered to a licensed distributor or to an internal revenue or United States customs bonded warehouse under regulations prescribed by the Commissioner of Revenue Services, or are transported in bonded trucks to vessels in Connecticut ports for export.

(B) (i) Any individual may import alcoholic beverages purchased by such individual within the territorial limits of the United States to an amount not to exceed five gallons in any sixty-day period for such individual’s own consumption, (ii) any individual may import alcoholic beverages, whether or not purchased by such individual, from outside the territorial limits of the United States to an amount not to exceed five gallons in any three-hundred-sixty-five-day period for such individual’s own consumption, and (iii) any individual who has resided outside the United States for a period of six months or more may, on one occasion and in conjunction with the return of such individual’s personal and household goods and effects upon the termination of such foreign residency, import wine to an amount not to exceed one hundred gallons, of which not more than twenty gallons shall be of the same brand and spirits not to exceed ten gallons of which not more than two gallons shall be of the same brand, after making application in each such case to the Department of Revenue Services and presenting with the application a tax return prescribed by the Commissioner of Revenue Services and reporting the taxes under this chapter and under chapter 219 for which the applicant is liable. Payment of such taxes shall accompany such application and tax return. A copy of the importation certificate issued by the Department of Revenue Services shall accompany each such shipment.

(3) The provisions of this section shall not apply to alcoholic beverages which are actually brought into the state by any individual in quantities of four gallons or less.

(c) The commissioner may require a licensed distributor who is a consignee of any alcoholic beverages transported, shipped or imported into this state to prepare and sign two copies of an invoice, the form to be prescribed by the commissioner, furnishing a description of each shipment received. Such licensed distributor shall, on demand of the commissioner, within five days after the receipt of any shipment, file one copy of such invoice with the commissioner and retain the other copy in such licensed distributor’s files.

(d) Each distributor, when making a taxable sale, shall furnish to the purchaser an invoice showing the quantities of alcoholic beverages sold and the classification thereof within the provisions of this chapter. The distributor shall keep all such invoices as part of the distributor’s records.

(e) Any person holding a distributor’s license may, not later than ten days before the end of any month, apply to the commissioner for cancellation of such license, such cancellation to be effective from the first day of the following month.

(f) Any distributor shipping any alcoholic beverages into any military reservation located within the territorial boundaries of this state shall, upon request by the commissioner, provide such commissioner with a copy of the invoice showing the quantities of alcoholic beverages shipped and the classification thereof within the provisions of this chapter.

(g) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year or both for each offense.

(h) (1) The commissioner may suspend or revoke the license of any distributor for failure to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter or regulations related thereto, following a hearing with respect to which notice in writing, specifying the time and place of such hearing and requiring such distributor to show cause why such license should not be revoked, is mailed or delivered to such distributor not less than ten days preceding the date of such hearing. Such notice may be served personally or by registered or certified mail.

(2) The commissioner shall not issue a new license to a distributor whose license is revoked unless the commissioner is satisfied that such distributor will comply with the provisions of this chapter and regulations related thereto.

(1949 Rev., S. 4326; 1955, S. 2182d; February, 1965, P.A. 578; P.A. 73-543, S. 13, 14; P.A. 77-614, S. 139, 165, 610; P.A. 79-604, S. 1; P.A. 80-482, S. 4, 22, 170, 191, 345, 348; P.A. 84-350, S. 2; P.A. 85-372, S. 3, 4; P.A. 88-314, S. 29, 54; P.A. 95-195, S. 8, 83; P.A. 99-121, S. 15, 28; P.A. 00-174, S. 31, 83; 00-230, S. 7; P.A. 05-274, S. 6; P.A. 06-159, S. 17.)

History: 1965 act specified that permission to import five gallons applies to purchases within U.S. territorial limits and excluded from provisions purchases of one gallon or less, rather than “less than one gallon”; P.A. 73-543 excepted airlines from provision prohibiting sales or possession without payment of tax; P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner and division of liquor control within the department of business regulation for liquor control commission, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-604 excluded from provisions of section purchases of four gallons, rather than one gallon, or less; P.A. 80-482 made division of liquor control an independent department following abolition of department of business regulation, overriding provision of same act which would have placed the division within the public safety department; P.A. 84-350 added Subdiv. (2), concerning the importation of wine by foreign residents; P.A. 85-372 added provisions specifying grounds for refusal of or suspension or revocation of licenses and re procedure for suspension or revocation of license; P.A. 88-314 added the penalty provision applicable to any violation of the requirements of this section, effective July 1, 1988, and applicable to any tax which first becomes due and payable on or after said date, to any return or report due on or after said date, or in the case of any ongoing obligation imposed in accordance with said act, to the tax period next beginning on or after said date; P.A. 95-195 substituted Department of Consumer Protection for Department of Liquor Control, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 99-121 divided Sec. into Subsecs. and Subdivs., allowed taxpayer to receive alcoholic beverages from outside the U.S., subject to state tax and limitations on the amount, and made technical changes, effective June 3, 1999, and applicable to sales occurring on or after October 1, 1999; P.A. 00-174 amended Subsec. (b)(2) to transfer responsibility for issuance of importation certificates from the Department of Consumer Protection to the Department of Revenue Services, to require that a tax return be presented with an application and to require that payment of taxes accompany the application and return, effective July 1, 2000, and applicable to applications filed on or after that date; P.A. 00-230 made a technical change in Subsec. (a)(2); P.A. 05-274 amended Subsec. (b)(2) to except shipments made pursuant to Secs. 30-18 and 30-18a and make technical changes, effective July 13, 2005; P.A. 06-159 amended Subsec. (f) to require provision of invoice upon commissioner’s request, rather than filing a duplicate, effective June 6, 2006.

See Sec. 12-453 re exceptions to chapter provisions.

Sec. 12-437. Returns. Each distributor shall, on or before the last day of each month, file with the Commissioner of Revenue Services a return, on forms to be prescribed and furnished by such commissioner and signed under penalty of false statement by its treasurer or an authorized agent or officer, showing, for the preceding calendar month or any portion thereof during which such taxpayer was a distributor: (1) The total number of gallons of each kind of alcoholic beverage set forth in section 12-435 constituting the inventory of the distributor at the beginning of such calendar month or portion thereof; (2) the total number of gallons of each kind of such alcoholic beverage purchased by the distributor during such calendar month or portion thereof; (3) the total number of gallons of each kind of alcoholic beverage set forth in section 12-435 constituting the inventory of the distributor at the end of such calendar month or portion thereof; (4) the total number of gallons of alcoholic beverages disposed of by the distributor during such calendar month or portion thereof; (5) the total number of gallons of each kind of such alcoholic beverage sold by the distributor during such calendar month or portion thereof to another licensed distributor; (6) the total number of gallons of each kind of such alcoholic beverage sold by the distributor during such calendar month, or portion thereof, which, in the course of the sale, was transported outside of the state; (7) the amount of the tax payable for such calendar month or portion thereof, as provided in this chapter; and (8) such additional information as the commissioner requires for the proper administration of this chapter. The Commissioner of Revenue Services shall also prescribe and furnish a different type of form, to be used by brewers and manufacturers, on which returns shall be made to the Commissioner of Revenue Services on or before the last day of each month for the preceding calendar month or any portion thereof during which the taxpayer is engaged in business as a brewer or manufacturer.

(1949 Rev., S. 4327; P.A. 77-614, S. 139, 610; P.A. 79-594, S. 1, 2; P.A. 06-159, S. 18.)

History: P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-594 required that returns be filed on or before last day of each month rather than twentieth day; P.A. 06-159 deleted “under oath”, added provision re penalty of false statement and made a technical change, effective October 1, 2006, and applicable to returns for calendar months commencing on or after that date.

Sec. 12-438. Application for cancellation of distributor’s license; inventory; return. Any person who applies for a cancellation of his distributor’s license shall take an inventory at the beginning of business on the first day of the following month showing the number of gallons of each kind of alcoholic beverage mentioned in section 12-435 owned by him and held within the state. Each such person shall, within fifteen days after taking such inventory, file a copy of such inventory with the commissioner, on forms prescribed and furnished by him, and shall pay a tax on such inventory at the rates specified in said section 12-435. Each return filed under the provisions of this section shall give such additional information as the commissioner requires and shall include a statement of the amount of tax due under such return.

(1949 Rev., S. 4328.)

Sec. 12-439. Payment of tax. Penalties for nonpayment. (a) The tax imposed by this chapter shall be due and payable on the last day on which a return may be filed without penalty under sections 12-437 and 12-438. Upon the filing of such return, the taxpayer shall forward to the commissioner the amount shown by such return to be due the state. If any person fails to pay such amount within the time required, there shall be imposed a penalty equal to ten per cent of such amount of tax due and unpaid or fifty dollars, whichever is greater. The tax shall bear interest at the rate of one per cent per month or fraction thereof, from the due date of such tax to the date of payment. If no return has been filed within three months after the time specified under the provisions of this chapter, the commissioner may make such return at any time thereafter, according to the best information obtainable and form prescribed. There shall be added to the tax imposed upon the basis of such return, an amount equal to ten per cent of such tax, or fifty dollars, whichever is greater. The tax shall bear interest at the rate of one per cent per month or fraction thereof from the due date of such tax to the date of payment. Subject to the provisions of section 12-3a, the commissioner may waive all or part of the penalties provided under this chapter when it is proven to his satisfaction that the failure to pay any tax was due to reasonable cause and was not intentional or due to neglect.

(b) Payment of any tax hereunder may be made by bank draft, check or money order, or in such other form or manner as suits the convenience of the taxpayer, provided no payment shall operate to discharge any taxpayer from liability for any tax imposed by this chapter except to the extent to which such payment is made in lawful money of the United States or in a form that in regular course of business can be converted thereinto. In the case of any invalid payment, every recourse of the state for the collection of the amount of such tax, as herein authorized, shall continue to be available, and further penalties shall accrue as though such invalid payment had not been made, and the commissioner may thereafter determine the manner of making subsequent payments by the taxpayer concerned. The commissioner shall issue his receipt to any taxpayer for any payment upon request. He shall deposit daily all receipts with the State Treasurer. Such deposit shall operate as a full discharge of the commissioner of all liability therefor.

(1949 Rev., S. 4329; 1953, S. 2183d; 1969, P.A. 388, S. 14; P.A. 76-322, S. 15, 27; P.A. 80-307, S. 23, 31; P.A. 81-64, S. 12, 23; 81-411, S. 31, 42; P.A. 88-314, S. 30, 54; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-4, S. 58, 85; P.A. 95-160, S. 64, 69.)

History: 1969 act amended Subsec. (a) to increase interest rate from 0.6% to 0.75%; P.A. 76-322 increased interest rate to 1%; P.A. 80-307 temporarily increased interest rate to 1.25% for taxes due on or after July 1, 1980, but not later than June 30, 1981; P.A. 81-64 amended Subsec. (a) to include penalty of 10% of the tax due or $50, whichever is greater, where previously 2% penalty was levied, to delete provision which had limited penalty to $50 or less for taxpayers delinquent for five days or less and to include the waiver of penalty provisions applicable to other state taxes; P.A. 81-411 continued interest on taxes not paid when due under Subsec. (a) at 1.25% per month, effective July 1, 1981, and applicable to taxes becoming due on or after that date; P.A. 88-314 amended Subsec. (a) by making a technical restatement of the penalty provision, including the rate of interest applicable, for failure to pay the tax within the time required, effective July 1, 1988, and applicable to any tax which first becomes due and payable on or after said date, to any return or report due on or after said date, or in the case of any ongoing obligation imposed in accordance with said act, to the tax period next beginning on or after said date; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-4 in Subsec. (a) reduced interest rate from 1.25% to 1%, provided that such interest may only be applied on the tax rather than on the tax and any penalty and provided for the commissioner to make a return for a taxpayer who fails to file a return within three months after the specified due date, effective July 1, 1995, and applicable to taxes due and owing on or after said date; P.A. 95-160 revised effective date of May Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-4 but without affecting this section.

See Sec. 4-32 re state revenue accounting procedure.

Sec. 12-440. Determination of tax. As soon as practicable after each return has been filed, the commissioner shall cause it to be examined and shall compute and determine the amount of the tax payable thereon. If it should appear then or thereafter within three years, as a result of such examination or as a result of any examination of the records of the taxpayer or of any other inquiry or investigation provided for under this chapter, that the correct amount of tax is greater or less than that shown on the return, the tax shall be recomputed and corrected accordingly, and notices of such correction shall be delivered or mailed forthwith to the taxpayer. When it appears that any part of the deficiency for which a deficiency assessment is made is due to negligence or intentional disregard of the provisions of this chapter or regulations promulgated thereunder, there shall be imposed a penalty equal to ten per cent of the amount of such deficiency assessment, or fifty dollars, whichever is greater. When it appears that any part of the deficiency for which a deficiency assessment is made is due to fraud or intent to evade the provisions of this chapter or regulations promulgated thereunder, there shall be imposed a penalty equal to twenty-five per cent of the amount of such deficiency assessment. No taxpayer shall be subject to more than one penalty under this section in relation to the same tax period. Each addition to the amount shown to be payable by any taxpayer for any period, including the amount of any penalty and interest imposed hereunder, shall be payable within thirty days of the mailing of notice thereof in cash or by check, draft or money order drawn to the order of the Commissioner of Revenue Services. The amount of the deficiency shall bear interest at the rate of one per cent per month or fraction thereof from the date when the original tax was due and payable. In case of payment by any taxpayer under this chapter of any amount in excess of any tax lawfully due, through clerical error or by reason of any reduction of the amount of tax by action of the commissioner or by court action on appeal, discovery thereof being made within three years from the date of payment of the tax, the excess payment may, in the discretion of the commissioner, be credited on the amount of tax due from the same taxpayer for any prior tax period, or be retained and credited against the tax payable for any ensuing tax period, or be refunded to the taxpayer upon order of the Comptroller drawn on the Treasurer. If prior to the expiration of the period prescribed in this section for the assessment of additional tax with respect to any return, a taxpayer has consented in writing that such period may be extended, the amount of such additional tax due may be determined at any time within such extended period. Any such extended period may be further extended by consent in writing before the expiration of such extended period.

(1949 Rev., S. 4330; P.A. 78-229, S. 1, 2; P.A. 81-64, S. 13, 23; P.A. 85-356, S. 5, 9; P.A. 88-314, S. 31, 54; P.A. 95-26, S. 19, 52.)

History: P.A. 78-229 added provisions re extension periods for assessment of additional tax; P.A. 81-64 added the minimum penalty of $50; P.A. 85-356, in the language concerning refunds of tax payments in excess of the amount lawfully due, deleted the provision that such refunds are payable out of funds appropriated for the purpose; P.A. 88-314 added provisions related to deficiency assessment, distinguishing between deficiency due to negligence and a deficiency due to fraud or intent to evade, including the penalties and interest imposed in each case, effective July 1, 1988, and applicable to any tax which first becomes due and payable on or after said date, to any return or report due on or after said date, or in the case of any ongoing obligation imposed in accordance with said act, to the tax period next beginning on or after said date; P.A. 95-26 lowered interest rate from 1.25% to 1%, effective July 1, 1995, and applicable to taxes due and owing on or after July 1, 1995, whether or not those taxes first became due before said date.

Sec. 12-441. Delinquent taxes; lien. The amount of any tax due and unpaid under the provisions of this chapter may be collected under the provisions of section 12-35. The warrant therein provided for shall be signed by the commissioner or his authorized agent. The amount of any such tax shall be a lien, from the last day of the tax period until discharged by payment, against all real estate of the taxpayer within the state and a certificate of lien signed by the commissioner may be filed for record in the office of the clerk of any town in which such real estate is situated, provided no such lien shall be effective as against any bona fide purchaser or qualified encumbrancer of any interest in any such property. When any tax with respect to which a lien has been recorded under the provisions of this section has been satisfied, the commissioner, upon request of any interested party, shall issue a certificate discharging such lien, which certificate may be recorded in the same office in which the lien was recorded. Any action for the foreclosure of such lien shall be brought by the Attorney General in the name of the state in the superior court for the judicial district in which the property subject to such lien is situated, or, if such property is located in two or more judicial districts, in the superior court for any one such judicial district, and the court may limit the time for redemption or order the sale of such property or make such other or further decree as it judges equitable. If any taxpayer sells or transfers his business in whole or in part, the purchaser shall be liable, and, in the case of two or more purchasers, each of them shall be jointly and severally liable, with the former owner, for the payment of the tax.

(1949 Rev., S. 4331; P.A. 82-172, S. 7, 14.)

History: P.A. 82-172 added procedure re foreclosure of the state lien against real estate for tax not paid when due.

Sec. 12-442. Power to examine. The commissioner shall have power, when he deems it expedient, to make, or cause to be made by his deputy, auditors or investigators, an examination or investigation of the books, records, papers, vouchers, accounts and documents of any person engaged in the manufacture, distribution, transportation, storage, warehousing, importation or sale of alcoholic beverages, and the premises of any such person, for the purpose of administering the provisions of this chapter or any other act of this state imposing taxes upon the sale or delivery of alcoholic beverages. Each such person and each director, officer, agent or employee of each such person shall exhibit to the commissioner, his deputy, auditors or investigators all of the books, records, papers, vouchers, accounts and documents of such person and the premises of such person, to facilitate, as far as it may be in his or their power so to do, any such examination or investigation.

(1949 Rev., S. 4332.)

Sec. 12-443. Records to be kept. Each person who manufactures, distributes, transports, stores, warehouses or sells alcoholic beverages or imports the same for sale shall keep complete and accurate records of all alcoholic beverages purchased, sold, manufactured, improved, brewed, fermented, distilled, produced, stored, warehoused, imported or transported within this state. Such records shall be of such kind and in such form as the commissioner may prescribe and shall be safely preserved for three years in such a manner as to insure permanency and accessibility for inspection by the commissioner or by his authorized employee. If any taxpayer fails to keep books of account or other documentary evidence from which a proper determination of the tax due may be made, the commissioner may fix the amount of tax for any period from the best information obtainable by him, and the amount so fixed shall be paid as though it had been computed on a return filed by the taxpayer under the provisions of this chapter and shall be presumed to be the correct amount due the state unless amended or corrected under the provisions of this chapter.

(1949 Rev., S. 4333.)

Sec. 12-444. Commissioner’s records. Section 12-444 is repealed.

(1949 Rev., S. 4334; P.A. 77-614, S. 165, 610; P.A. 80-482, S. 4, 23, 170, 191, 345, 348; P.A. 82-67, S. 4.)

Sec. 12-445. Oaths and subpoenas. The commissioner, and any agent of the commissioner authorized to conduct any inquiry, investigation or hearing under this chapter, shall have power to administer oaths and take testimony under oath relative to the matter of inquiry or investigation. At any hearing ordered by the commissioner, the commissioner or his agent authorized to conduct such hearing and having authority by law to issue such process may subpoena witnesses and require the production of books, papers and documents pertinent to such inquiry. No witness under subpoena authorized to be issued by the provisions of this chapter shall be excused from testifying or from producing books or papers on the ground that such testimony or the production of such books or other documentary evidence would tend to incriminate him, but such evidence or the books or papers so produced shall not be used in any criminal proceeding against him. If any person disobeys such process or, having appeared in obedience thereto, refuses to answer any pertinent question put to him by the commissioner or his authorized agent or to produce any books and papers pursuant thereto, the commissioner or such agent may apply to the superior court for the judicial district wherein the taxpayer resides or wherein the business has been conducted, or to any judge of said court if the same is not in session, setting forth such disobedience to process or refusal to answer, and said court or such judge shall cite such person to appear before said court or such judge to answer such question or to produce such books and papers and, upon his refusal so to do, shall commit such person to community correctional center until he testifies, but not for a longer period than sixty days. Notwithstanding the serving of the term of such commitment by any person, the commissioner may proceed in all respects with such inquiry and examination as if the witness had not previously been called upon to testify. Officers who serve subpoenas issued by the commissioner or under his authority and witnesses attending hearings conducted by him under this chapter shall receive like fees and compensation as officers and witnesses in the courts of this state, to be paid on vouchers of the commissioner on order of the Comptroller from the proper appropriation for the administration of this chapter.

(1949 Rev., S. 4335; 1969, P.A. 297; P.A. 84-492, S. 4, 8.)

History: 1969 act substituted “community correctional center” for “jail”; P.A. 84-492 made a technical change, substituting reference to judicial district for reference to county.

See Sec. 52-260 re witness fees.

See Sec. 52-261 re fees and expenses of officers and persons serving process.

Sec. 12-446. Taxpayer to file security. The commissioner, before issuing any license to a distributor under section 12-436, shall require such distributor annually to file with, and to the satisfaction of, the commissioner and to maintain for the year a bond issued by a surety company authorized to do business in this state or other security acceptable to the commissioner, in such amount as he may fix, to secure the payment of any sums due from such distributor pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. The bond or other security shall be in full force and effect for a period of three years and one month following the end of such year, unless a certificate is issued by the commissioner to the effect that all taxes due the state have been paid. The commissioner shall not require a bond for any distributor who has complied with the provisions of this chapter for a period of not less than twenty years without the commissioner having to resort to any security maintained pursuant to this section for payment of any sum required by this chapter, unless the commissioner determines that good cause exists for the continued requirements of a bond or surety for such distributor.

(1949 Rev., S. 4336; P.A. 91-231, S. 5; P.A. 93-361, S. 10, 17; P.A. 95-65, S. 2, 3.)

History: P.A. 91-231 provided for the acceptance of security other than bonds by the commissioner and increased the effective period of such security to three years and one month, deleting prior provision re acceptance of cash in lieu of bonds; P.A. 93-361 authorized commissioner to waive necessity of filing a bond; P.A. 95-65 added provision that an alcoholic beverage distributor’s bond is in effect for only one year and that the distributor is required to file annually, effective July 1, 1995.

Sec. 12-447. Hearings by commissioner. Any person aggrieved by the action of the commissioner or his authorized agent in fixing the amount of any tax as provided by this chapter, or in imposing any penalty hereunder, may apply to the commissioner, in writing, within sixty days after the notice of such action was mailed to him, for a hearing and a correction of the amount of the tax or penalty so fixed, setting forth the reasons why such hearing should be granted and the amount in which such tax should be reduced. The commissioner shall promptly consider each such application and may grant or deny the hearing requested. If the hearing is denied, the applicant shall be notified thereof forthwith; if it is granted, the commissioner shall notify the applicant of the time and place fixed for such hearing. After such hearing, the commissioner may make such order in the premises as appears to him just and lawful and shall furnish a copy of such order to the applicant. The commissioner may, by notice in writing, at any time within three years after the date when any return of any taxpayer has been due, order a hearing on his own initiative and require the taxpayer or any other individual whom he believes to be in possession of information concerning any manufacture, importation or sale of alcoholic beverages which have escaped taxation to appear before him or his authorized agent with any specified books of account, papers or other documents, for examination relative thereto.

(1949 Rev., S. 4337; P.A. 82-62, S. 3; P.A. 91-236, S. 9, 25.)

History: P.A. 82-62 increased from 10 days to 30 days the period within which a taxpayer may apply for administrative hearing following mailing of notice concerning findings of the commissioner; P.A. 91-236 provided for 60, rather than 30, days to request a hearing, effective July 1, 1991, and applicable to taxes due on or after that date.

Cited. 31 CS 134.

Sec. 12-448. Appeals from decisions of commissioner. Any taxpayer aggrieved because of any decision, order, determination or disallowance of the Commissioner of Revenue Services under the provisions of this chapter may, within one month after service upon such taxpayer of notice of such decision, order, determination or disallowance, take an appeal therefrom to the superior court for the judicial district of New Britain, which appeal shall be accompanied by a citation to the Commissioner of Revenue Services to appear before said court. Such citation shall be signed by the same authority, and such appeal shall be returnable at the same time and served and returned in the same manner, as is required in case of a summons in a civil action. The authority issuing the citation shall take from the appellant a bond or recognizance to the state of Connecticut, with surety to prosecute the appeal to effect and to comply with the orders and decrees of the court in the premises. Such appeals shall be preferred cases, to be heard, unless cause appears to the contrary, at the first session, by the court or by a committee appointed by the court. Said court may grant such relief as may be equitable, and, if such tax has been paid prior to the granting of such relief, may order the Treasurer to pay the amount of such relief, with interest at the rate of two-thirds of one per cent per month or fraction thereof, to the aggrieved taxpayer. If the appeal has been taken without probable cause, the court may tax double or triple costs, as the case demands; and, upon all such appeals which are denied, costs may be taxed against the appellant at the discretion of the court, but no costs shall be taxed against the state.

(1949 Rev., S. 4338; 1971, P.A. 870, S. 27; P.A. 76-436, S. 318, 681; P.A. 77-614, S. 139, 610; P.A. 78-280, S. 5, 127; P.A. 84-492, S. 5, 8; P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 89-343, S. 12, 17; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; P.A. 95-26, S. 20, 52; 95-220, S. 4–6; P.A. 99-215, S. 24, 29.)

History: 1971 act substituted court of common pleas for superior court, effective September 1, 1971, except that courts with cases pending retain jurisdiction unless matters pending are transferable; P.A. 76-436 substituted superior court for court of common pleas, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-280 substituted judicial district of Hartford-New Britain for Hartford county; P.A. 84-492 provided that appeals should be taken within one month of notice of the decision, order, determination or disallowance; P.A. 88-230 replaced “judicial district of Hartford-New Britain” with “judicial district of Hartford”, effective September 1, 1991; P.A. 89-343 increased the rate of interest on the amount of relief ordered by the court from 6% to 9% per annum; P.A. 90-98 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1991, to September 1, 1993; P.A. 93-142 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1993, to September 1, 1996, effective June 14, 1993; P.A. 95-26 lowered interest rate from 9% per annum to 0.66% per month, effective July 1, 1995, and applicable to taxes due and owing on or after July 1, 1995, whether or not those taxes first became due before said date; P.A. 95-220 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 99-215 replaced “judicial district of Hartford” with “judicial district of New Britain”, effective June 29, 1999.

Cited. 31 CS 134.

Sec. 12-449. Regulations and rulings. The commissioner may prescribe regulations and make rulings, not inconsistent with law, to carry into effect the provisions of this chapter, which regulations or rulings, when reasonably designed to carry out the intent and purpose of this chapter, shall be prima facie evidence of its proper interpretation. The commissioner shall, at least annually, and more often in his discretion, publish for distribution all regulations prescribed hereunder and such rulings as appear to him to be of general interest.

(1949 Rev., S. 4340; P.A. 90-271, S. 10, 24.)

History: P.A. 90-271 made a technical change.

Sec. 12-450. Cooperation with Department of Consumer Protection. Suspension of permit. The Department of Consumer Protection shall, upon request of the Commissioner of Revenue Services, after a hearing by said commissioner, suspend the permit of any permittee licensed under chapter 545 who has failed to file any return required or to pay any tax prescribed or to perform any other act or duty imposed under any provisions of the general statutes relating to taxation until written notice from the Commissioner of Revenue Services has been received authorizing reinstatement of the permit. Notice of such compliance by the permittee shall be promptly forwarded to the department. The Department of Consumer Protection shall furnish to the commissioner such information in its possession relative to any person or company engaged in the beverage business as the commissioner requests.

(1949 Rev., S. 4341; P.A. 77-614, S. 139, 165, 610; P.A. 80-482, S. 4, 24, 170, 191, 345, 348; P.A. 84-492, S. 6, 8; P.A. 95-195, S. 9, 83; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 146(d); P.A. 04-169, S. 17; 04-189, S. 1.)

History: P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner and division of liquor control within the department of business regulation for liquor control commission, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-482 made division an independent department following abolition of department of business regulation, overriding provision of same act which would have placed the division within the public safety department; P.A. 84-492 provided that notice from the commissioner shall be made after a hearing; P.A. 95-195 substituted Department of Consumer Protection for Department of Liquor Control, effective July 1, 1995; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-169 replaced Department of Consumer Protection with Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-189 repealed Sec. 146 of June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, thereby reversing the merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective June 1, 2004.

Sec. 12-451. Additional reciprocal tax. “State”, when used in this section, shall include the District of Columbia, any other state of the United States and any foreign country. If any other state imposes taxes on alcoholic beverages manufactured in Connecticut and brought into such other state in excess of the taxes imposed on alcoholic beverages manufactured in such other state, the Connecticut Commissioner of Revenue Services shall, in addition to the tax on alcoholic beverages provided by this chapter, impose an additional tax on alcoholic beverages manufactured in such other state and brought into this state, which shall represent the excess of taxes imposed on Connecticut alcoholic beverages brought into such other state over the taxes imposed by such other state on alcoholic beverages manufactured in such other state. The Commissioner of Revenue Services shall issue regulations relative to the levy of such additional tax, shall send a copy of such regulations to each licensed distributor, shall file a copy thereof with the State Treasurer and a copy with the State Comptroller, and shall further cause to be published in a newspaper having general circulation in such other state a notice relative to such additional tax.

(1949 Rev., S. 4342; P.A. 77-614, S. 139, 610.)

History: P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner, effective January 1, 1979.

Sec. 12-452. Penalties for wilful violations concerning payment of tax or filing returns or other documents. Claim for refund. (a) Any person required under this chapter to pay any tax, or required under this chapter or by regulations adopted in accordance with the provisions of section 12-449 to make a return, keep any records or supply any information, who wilfully fails to pay such tax, make such return, keep such records, or supply such information, at the time required by law or regulations, shall, in addition to any other penalty provided by law, be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year or both. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 54-193, no person shall be prosecuted for a violation of the provisions of this subsection committed on or after July 1, 1997, except within three years next after such violation has been committed. As used in this section, person includes any officer or employee of a corporation or a member or employee of a partnership under a duty to pay such tax, to make such return, keep such records or supply such information.

(b) Any person who wilfully delivers or discloses to the commissioner or his authorized agent any list, return, account, statement, or other document, known by him to be fraudulent or false in any material matter, shall, in addition to any other penalty provided by law, be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years nor less than one year or both. No person shall be charged with an offense under both subsections (a) and (b) of this section in relation to the same tax period but such person may be charged and prosecuted for both such offenses upon the same information.

(c) (1) Any person believing that he has overpaid any tax due under the provisions of this chapter may file, in writing, a claim for refund with the commissioner within three years from the due date for which such overpayment was made, stating the specific grounds upon which the claim is founded. Failure to file a claim within the time prescribed in this subsection constitutes a waiver of any demand against the state on account of such overpayment. Not later than ninety days following receipt of such claim for refund, the commissioner shall determine whether such claim is valid and, if so determined the commissioner shall notify the State Comptroller of the amount of such refund and the State Comptroller shall draw an order on the State Treasurer in the amount thereof for payment to the claimant. If the commissioner determines that such claim is not valid, either in whole or in part, he shall mail notice of the proposed disallowance in whole or in part of the claim to the claimant, which notice shall set forth briefly the commissioner’s findings of fact and the basis of disallowance in each case decided in whole or in part adversely to the claimant. Sixty days after the date on which it is mailed, a notice of proposed disallowance shall constitute a final disallowance except only for such amounts as to which the claimant has filed, as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, a written protest with the commissioner.

(2) On or before the sixtieth day after the mailing of the proposed disallowance, the claimant may file with the commissioner a written protest against the proposed disallowance in which the claimant sets forth the grounds on which the protest is based. If the protest is filed, the commissioner shall reconsider the proposed disallowance and, if the claimant has so requested, may grant or deny the claimant or the claimant’s authorized representatives an oral hearing.

(3) The commissioner shall mail notice of his determination to the claimant, which notice shall set forth briefly the commissioner’s findings of fact and the basis of decision in each case decided in whole or in part adversely to the claimant.

(4) The action of the commissioner on the claimant’s protest shall be final upon the expiration of one month from the date on which he mails notice of his action to the claimant unless within such period the claimant seeks judicial review of the commissioner’s determination pursuant to section 12-448.

(1949 Rev., S. 4343; 1971, P.A. 871, S. 82; P.A. 88-314, S. 32, 54; P.A. 97-203, S. 7, 20; 97-243, S. 57, 67.)

History: 1971 act substituted false statement penalty for perjury punishment; P.A. 88-314 deleted the entire section concerning violations of the provisions of this chapter with intent to defraud the state or evade the tax, substituting in lieu thereof a restatement of such violations and penalties in which a penalty is provided for wilful failure to pay such tax or make a return or wilful delivery of a return or other document known to be false, effective July 1, 1988, and applicable to any tax which first becomes due and payable on or after said date, to any return or report due on or after said date, or in the case of any ongoing obligation imposed in accordance with said act, to the tax period next beginning on or after said date; P.A. 97-203 amended Subsec. (a) to extend to three years the time within which persons wilfully failing to file tax returns or pay taxes may be criminally prosecuted; effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 97-243 added new Subsec. (c) to provide for an administrative hearing with the department before taking an appeal to the Superior Court, establish the time for filing a claim and provide that failure to file within the time prescribed constitutes a waiver of any demand against the state on account of overpayment, effective July 1, 1997, and applicable to claims for refund filed on or after said date.

Sec. 12-453. Exceptions. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to ethyl alcohol intended for use or used for the following purposes: For scientific, chemical, mechanical and industrial uses, for use in hospitals and public institutions, for medicinal purposes, in the manufacture of patented, proprietary, medicinal, pharmaceutical, antiseptic, toilet, scientific, chemical, mechanical and industrial preparations or products, which preparations or products are not sold as a beverage for human consumption. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to wine and distilled liquors used in the manufacture of patented, proprietary or pharmaceutical preparations or products, or in the manufacture of fruit preserves. The Commissioner of Revenue Services shall formulate regulations effecting the proper administration of this section. The Department of Consumer Protection may approve the purchase of alcohol or wine from persons located outside of this state to be used for the purposes specified in this section, even though such alcohol or wine may have been shipped directly to the purchaser. The Department of Consumer Protection shall notify the Commissioner of Revenue Services of the approval of any such shipments. Any such alcohol shall not be subject to the provisions of section 12-436.

(1949 Rev., S. 4344; 1949, S. 2185d; P.A. 77-614, S. 139, 165, 610; P.A. 80-482, S. 4, 25, 170, 191, 345, 348; P.A. 95-195, S. 10, 83; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 146(d); P.A. 04-169, S. 17; 04-189, S. 1.)

History: P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner and division of liquor control within the department of business regulation for liquor control commission, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-482 made division an independent department following abolition of department of business regulation, overriding provision of same act which would have placed the division within the public safety department; P.A. 95-195 substituted Department of Consumer Protection for Department of Liquor Control, effective July 1, 1995; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 and P.A. 04-169 replaced Department of Consumer Protection with Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-189 repealed Sec. 146 of June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, thereby reversing the merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective June 1, 2004.

Sec. 12-454. Seizure and sale for nonpayment of taxes. (a) Any alcoholic beverages not exempted from the payment of taxes under the provisions of this chapter and upon which taxes have not been paid as required by the provisions of this chapter are declared to be contraband and may be seized by the Commissioner of Revenue Services, his agents or employees, or by any peace officer of this state when directed by the Commissioner of Revenue Services to do so. Subject to the provisions of this section, all goods so seized shall, in the discretion of said commissioner, be sold at public auction to the highest qualified bidder for cash, who shall pay the state taxes due thereon. The Commissioner of Revenue Services shall pay to the State Treasurer the proceeds of any such sale.

(b) Any person claiming an interest in such alcoholic beverages so seized may make a written application to the Commissioner of Revenue Services for a hearing within one week after the date of such seizure, stating his interest in such beverages and his reasons why they should not be forfeited under the provisions of this section. Upon receipt of such application the Commissioner of Revenue Services shall thereupon, with reasonable promptitude, assign a date for such hearing and give notice as to the time thereof to any person or persons making such application. At such hearing the Commissioner of Revenue Services shall determine whether such alcoholic beverages should be forfeited, and notice of such ruling shall be forwarded to each applicant claiming to have an interest in such beverages.

(c) Any person aggrieved by any such ruling may appeal therefrom to the superior court for the judicial district of New Britain within fourteen days thereafter, and no sale of any alcoholic beverages seized in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall be made until the time provided for such appeal has expired, or unless no application has been made for a hearing within the seven-day period following the date of seizure.

(d) No public auction shall be held as provided in subsection (a) of this section until such auction has been advertised in a newspaper published or having a circulation in the town in which such seizure occurred at least five days before the date of such auction.

(e) Any alcoholic liquor sold under the provisions of this section shall be sold only to a member of the public who purchases such liquor for his own consumption or to a permittee authorized by law to retail the kind of liquor so sold.

(f) The seizure and sale of any alcoholic beverages under the provisions of this section shall not relieve any person from a fine or penalty for a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter or of chapter 545.

(1949 Rev., S. 4345–4350; 1971, P.A. 870, S. 28; P.A. 76-436, S. 319, 681; P.A. 77-135; 77-614, S. 139, 610; P.A. 78-280, S. 5, 127; P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; P.A. 95-220, S. 4–6; P.A. 99-215, S. 24, 29.)

History: 1971 act substituted court of common pleas for superior court, effective September 1, 1971, except that courts with cases pending retain jurisdiction unless pending matters deemed transferable; P.A. 76-436 substituted superior court for court of common pleas, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-135 amended Subsec. (e) to include sales to members of the public for their own consumption; P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-280 substituted judicial district of Hartford-New Britain for Hartford county; P.A. 88-230 replaced “judicial district of Hartford-New Britain” with “judicial district of Hartford”, effective September 1, 1991; P.A. 90-98 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1991, to September 1, 1993; P.A. 93-142 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1993, to September 1, 1996, effective June 14, 1993; P.A. 95-220 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 99-215 replaced “judicial district of Hartford” with “judicial district of New Britain” in Subsec. (c), effective June 29, 1999.