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Approved: April 12, 1989


RAB-89-31. The purpose of this Bulletin is to announce the Department’s change in position for the cigarette tax licensing of chain stores.

It has been the position of the Department to require chain stores selling cigarettes to be licensed under the Michigan Cigarette Tax Act as a wholesaler and as an unclassified acquirer. The reason for this dual licensing requirement can be found in the Cigarette Tax Act, MCL 205.503(a), providing that “[i]f a manufacturer, wholesaler, secondary wholesaler, retailer, vending machine operator or unclassified acquirer acts in more than one of said capacities at any one place of business he shall procure a license for each capacity in which he acts”. Further, pursuant to the following definitional provisions of the Cigarette Tax Act, MCL 205.501(d) and 205.501(g), “wholesaler” and “unclassified acquirer”, respectively, a chain store purchasing cigarettes from the manufacturer met both definitions.  See also the Department of Treasury Cigarette Tax Rules, 1979 AC, R 205.401.

Effective with the 1988/89 cigarette tax license year, all chain stores registered as wholesalers under Michigan’s Cigarette Tax Act will no longer be required to maintain a registration as an unclassified acquirer or cigarettes.  The reason for this change in position is that all information required from such a licensee is available under the wholesalers license.

The accounts affected by this Bulletin shall maintain their registration as a wholesaler and adhere to all requirements of a wholesaler as provided in the Cigarette Tax Act.