Is the State Trying to Take Away Your License?

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One of a state agency's feared weapons against business owners (and licensed professionals) is the threat of license revocation or suspension. If your business does not comply with requests of the agency or if you do not agree to pay the tobacco tax, then the tobacco taxing agency may attempt to have your license suspended or revoked. Without a license, businesses must shut their doors. States often use this tactic as a very heavy-handed means of strong-arming taxpayers into submission.

Often times, a tobacco wholesaler has an outstanding tobacco tax liability that has been put on the back burner or completely ignored. Out of the blue, a notice is received that the company's tobacco license is being revoked or suspended. Panic sets in because the taxpayer fears that the state tobacco taxing agency is initiating a proceeding to put a company out of business. While a company cannot act as an active licensee in their state without a valid license, there are still many actions that can be taken with an experienced tobacco tax consultant on your side.

Learn more about what you can do if your license is in danger of revocation. Call for a FREE case consult.

Requirements for a State to Revoke a License

Most states have the authority to revoke a tobacco wholesaler's license. However, because the license is such important property of the business, then ALL the requirements of law must be strictly followed.

In order for a state to revoke a tobacco license:

  • The state must provide notice to the offending licensee of the time, place, and date of a conference in which the licensee can be heard. Most states also require some form of opportunity to set an informal conference. If the state agency does not comply with these requirements, then the licensee's due process rights have been offended and the licensee has a significant chance of defending the revocation.
  • Assuming the applicable law is complied with, the agency typically goes to court or files a form of an administrative complaint if the tobacco licensee fails to attend the formal conference or enter into a settlement agreement with the agency.
  • The administrative complaint names the offending company and is often titled "Administrative Complaint for Revocation of License" and states the agency intends to revoke your license.
  • From there, the offending party usually has some limited period of time from the receipt of the complaint to request an administrative hearing. If no such challenge is made, then the agency will enter a final order to revoke the license.

Without a license, a business is no longer authorized to sell tobacco. This effectively means that the agency has for all practical purposes just sealed the doors shut, or this is what the state would like you to think.

As is readily apparent by the basic concepts outlined in this article, a challenge to a revocation proceeding is somewhat complex and highly technical process. If you or your client has received a notice regarding a tobacco license revocation at any stage, it makes sense to get an experienced tobacco tax consultant as quickly as possible.

Tobacco Tax Consultants Aggressively Defending Your Business

It takes years of blood, sweat, and tears to build a viable business and it is our job to help defend taxpayers from state agencies. If your company or your client's company is facing has past due tobacco tax obligations or has some form of noncompliance and its license is being threatened at any stage of the administrative or legal proceedings, then please contact one of the consultants from our office today.

Start with a FREE initial consultation when you call our office today at (888) 918-4690.

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