26-57-236

Stamp deputies -- Appointment and revocation of appointment -- Reporting.

(a) The Director of the Department of Finance and Administration shall furnish tax stamps to licensed wholesalers through stamp deputies.

(b)

(1) The director may appoint and commission stamp deputies to handle the stamps and collect the tax on cigarettes before sales of cigarettes are made to the retailers.

(2) The director shall not appoint and commission a person as a stamp deputy unless the person:

(A) Is the owner or officer of a wholesaler licensed under this subchapter;

(B) Certifies each calendar quarter on a form prescribed by the director that the person has and will comply with the requirements of this subchapter;

(C) Consents to the jurisdiction of the state to enforce the requirements of this subchapter and waives any claim of sovereign immunity to the contrary;

(D) Provides complete and accurate reports as required by this subchapter;

(E) Waives the confidentiality laws necessary to permit the director to:

(i) Create and make available the list described in subdivision (b)(6) of this section; and

(ii) Share information reported under this subchapter and other laws with the taxing authorities or law enforcement authorities of other states or with any other entity permitted by the director to aggregate the data;

(F) Has furnished a bond in an amount and in the form prescribed by the director; and

(G) If located outside of the state, has appointed an agent in this state to act as agent for the service of process for the purpose of enforcing this subchapter.

(3) An appointment and commission as a stamp deputy by the director is effective for one (1) year.

(4) A stamp deputy acting within the scope of the stamp deputy's authority is an agent of the director and is accountable as such for any wrongful acts.

(5) A stamp deputy's open account shall not exceed seventy-five percent (75%) of the total amount of the bond provided by the stamp deputy.

(6)

(A) The director shall list on the website of the Department of Finance and Administration the names of all persons appointed and commissioned as stamp deputies under this section.

(B) Manufacturers, importers, and sales entity affiliates are entitled to rely on the list described in subdivision (b)(6)(A) of this section in selling cigarettes.

(c) (1) A stamp deputy's appointment and commission are subject to revocation if the stamp deputy:

(A) Fails to submit a report required under this subchapter or the Tobacco Products Reporting Act, § 26-57-1401 et seq.;

(B) Files an incomplete or inaccurate report or an inaccurate certification;

(C) Fails to pay taxes due under this subchapter;

(D) Sells cigarettes in or into the state in a package that bears a stamp permitted under this subchapter that is not the correct stamp and provides for a lower level of tax than the correct stamp;

(E) Sells unstamped cigarettes in, into, or from the state or possesses unstamped cigarettes in the state except as permitted under this subchapter;

(F) Purchases, sells in or into the state, or affixes a tax stamp to a package containing cigarettes of a manufacturer or brand family that is not listed on the directory of cigarettes approved for stamping and sale published by the Attorney General under § 26-57-1303, or possesses cigarettes described in this subdivision (c)(1)(F) more than twenty-one (21) days after receiving notice that the manufacturer or brand family is not on the state directory, except as otherwise permitted under this subchapter;

(G) Purchases or sells cigarettes in violation of this subchapter; or

(H) Has his or her appointment and commission or similar license or permit revoked or terminated in any other state based on acts or omissions that would, if done in Arkansas, be grounds for the revocation of the stamp deputy's appointment and commission under this section unless the stamp deputy demonstrates that the revocation or termination in the other state was effected without due process.

(2)

(A) If a stamp deputy commits a violation under subdivisions (c)(1)(A)-(D) of this section that was not knowing, the stamp deputy is entitled to cure the violation within thirty (30) days of the violation.

(B) The appointment and commission of a stamp deputy who fully cures the violation under subdivision (c)(2)(A) of this section shall not be revoked as a result of the violation.

(C) A violation that has been cured under this subdivision (c)(2) is not a violation for purposes of subdivision (c)(3) of this section and subsection (d) of this section.

(3) (A) If a stamp deputy commits a knowing violation under subdivision (c)(1) of this section, the stamp deputy is subject to the following civil penalties:

(i) For a first violation, up to one thousand dollars ($1,000); and

(ii) For a second or subsequent violation, up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) per violation.

(B) For violations under subdivisions (c)(1)(E)-(H) of this section, each sale constitutes a separate violation.

(4) (A) The director shall:

(i) Promptly remove from the list of stamp deputies maintained under subdivision (b)(6) of this section a stamp deputy whose appointment and commission has been revoked; and

(ii) Publish a notice of the termination on the department's website.

(B) Beginning ten (10) days following the publication of a notice under subdivision (c)(4)(A) of this section, a person shall not sell cigarettes to or purchase cigarettes from a stamp deputy whose appointment and commission have been revoked.

(5) If a stamp deputy whose appointment and commission have been revoked is also the manufacturer of cigarettes, the stamp deputy and its brand families shall be removed from the directory of cigarettes approved for stamping and sale maintained by the Attorney General under § 26-57-1303.

(d) A stamp deputy whose appointment and commission have been revoked under subsection (c) of this section is eligible for reinstatement:

(1) Ninety (90) days following revocation for a first violation under subdivisions (c)(1)(A)-(D) of this section that was not knowing;

(2) One hundred eighty (180) days following revocation for a second failure under subdivisions (c)(1)(A)-(D) of this section that was not knowing;

(3) One (1) year following revocation for a third or subsequent violation under subdivisions (c)(1)(A)-(D) of this section that was not knowing;

(4) One (1) year following revocation for a first knowing violation under subdivision (c)(1) of this section; and

(5) Three (3) years following revocation for a second or subsequent knowing violation under subdivision (c)(1) of this section.

(e) (1) (A) By the fifteenth day of each month, a stamp deputy shall file a report in the form prescribed by the director, and the stamp deputy shall certify to the state that the report is complete and accurate.

(B) The report required under subdivision (e)(1)(A) of this section shall contain the following information identified by name and number of cigarettes and the manufacturer and brand family of the cigarettes:

(i) The total number of cigarettes acquired by the stamp deputy during the month for sale in or into the state and for sale from Arkansas into another state;

(ii) The total number of cigarettes sold in or into the state by the stamp deputy during the month;

(iii) The total number of cigarettes held in inventory in the state or for sale into the state by the stamp deputy as of the end of the previous month;

(iv) The total number of stamps the stamp deputy affixed during the month, including the following:

(a) How many of each type of stamp the stamp deputy affixed by number;

(b) The total dollar amount of tax paid; and

(c) The total number of cigarettes contained in the packages to which the stamp deputy affixed each type of tax stamp; and

(v) Any additional information required by the director to assist in the enforcement of this chapter, §§ 26-57-260 and 26-57-261, and §§ 26-57-1301 -- 26-57-1308.

(2) In addition to the reports submitted under this section, the stamp deputy shall submit any information required by the director, including without limitation the manufacturer, brand family, and number of the cigarettes on which the reports are submitted.

(3) The director may share the information reported under this section with the taxing authorities or law enforcement authorities of Arkansas or another state or with any other entity permitted by the director to aggregate the data.

(f)

(1) The director shall pay a commission to each stamp deputy for the sale of cigarette tax stamps, the affixing of a cigarette tax stamp to each package of cigarettes, and the collection of cigarette taxes.

(2) The commission paid under subdivision (f)(1) of this section shall not be less than three percent (3%) of the total aggregate cigarette tax collected by the stamp deputy.

(g)

(1) All deposits held by a bank for a stamp deputy that represent the sales of stamps are trust funds and shall be held as special deposits.

(2) If the bank becomes insolvent, the deposits under subdivision (g)(1) of this section shall be classed and considered as preferred claims of the state.

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