12. I heard that Maryland will allow direct shipment of wine from certain vendors beginning July 1, 2011. How will the new 9% tax on the sale of alcoholic beverages apply to this situation?
In order to be authorized to make direct wine shipments to Maryland residents, the law requires that the vendor be issued a direct wine shippers permit, and also requires that the vendor comply with existing tax laws, including the requirement to collect sales and use tax. Therefore, the vendor will be required to charge sales and use tax at the rate of 9% on sales of wine to Maryland residents. If the vendor imposes a separately stated shipping charge, that amount will not be subject to tax. However, if the shipping charge is not separately stated, or if the shipping charge includes a handling charge, whether that shipping and handling charge is separately stated or not, then the entire amount will be considered to be part of the taxable price of wine, and the 9% tax will apply to the whole charge for sales made prior to July 1, 2012.
For sales made on and after July 1, 2012, the 9% rate will apply to the charge for the wine, and the 6% rate will apply to any other separately stated taxable charge made in connection that the sale of the wine.