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LIQUORS.

See also WINES; and DECISIONS 19646, p. 216; 19689, p. 283.)

(19616.)

Taxability of ginger ale and hop ale.

Ginger ale held not to be liable to taxation under Schedule B, act of June 13, 1898, unless specially advertised as medicinal, and not liable under section 3339, Revised Statutes, as a similar fermented liquor to ale, beer, etc.-Hop ale held liable to tax as fermented liquor under section 3339, Revised Statutes, and the venders thereof to special tax as malt liquor dealers.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,

Washington, D. C., July 2, 1898. SIR: Your letter of the 22d ultimo, asking about the taxability of ginger ale and similar preparations made from essences and extracts, together with sirup and water, has been received. These articles are not taxable as medicinal preparations under Schedule B, unless they are specially advertised as specifics for some disease of the human or animal body.

It has heretofore been ruled by this office that ginger ale is not liable under, the clause taxing fermented liquors, it not being a similar fermented liquor to ale, lager beer, and porter. (See section 3339, Revised Statutes.)

Hop ale made from hops, sugar, and water has been held liable to taxation under this section as a similar fermented liquor, and parties manufacturing the same have been held as brewers and wholesale and retail malt liquor dealers.

Respectfully, yours,

N. B. SCOTT, Commissioner.

Mr. A. M. LEMON, Collector Fourth District, Grand Rapids, Mich.

(19745.)

Special tax-Clubs.

Requirements in regard to clubs, whether they shall pay special tax as retail liquor dealers or as proprietors of a billiard room.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,

Washington, D. C., July 21, 1898.

SIR: Your letter of the 30th ultimo has been received, submitting the petition presented by the officers of the Cumberland Club, of Knoxville, Tenn., setting forth reasons why, in their opinion, the club should not be compelled to pay special tax as a retail liquor dealer or as a proprietor of a billiard room.

The grounds upon which the officers of this club rely for relief from the retail liquor dealer's special tax are that the club sells wines and liquors to its members only, and not for profit; and they refer to a decision of the supreme court of Tennessee in which it was held upon these grounds that the club was not a retail liquor dealer within the meaning of the law of that State. These same arguments were fully considered by Judge Lowell in the case of The United States v. Wittig (22 Int. Rev. Rec., 98), in which the decision was that any course of selling, though to a restricted class of persons and without a view to profit, is within the meaning of the statute imposing the special tax. This is the settled ruling of this office, and has been for more than twenty-five years, and I entertain no doubt that it is correct.

The decision of the supreme court-of Tennessee is conclusive with reference to the question of liability of retail liquor dealers under the State law, but it is not accepted here as applicable to the construction of the internal-revenue laws with reference to the special tax imposed upon retail liquor dealers.

The decision in the case of Wittig applies as well to incorporated clubs as to those which are unincorporated. If, therefore, the Cumberland Club refuses to make return and pay the special tax within the current month as a retail liquor dealer, you will next month report the case to this office for assessment of the special tax and 50 per cent additional under section 3176, Revised Statutes.

The club is not required to pay special tax as a proprietor of a billiard room by reason of the fact that it keeps billiard tables for the use of its members and invited guests. The special tax imposed by the ninth paragraph of section 2 of the act of June 13, 1898, upon proprietors of bowling alleys and billiard rooms "for each alley or table" expressly relates only to those buildings or places which are "open to the public." This evidently means open to persons in general, and can not apply to a club which excludes the public and admits to its privileges only its own members and their invited guests.

Respectfully, yours,

N. B. SCOTT, Commissioner.

Mr. A. J. TYLER, Collector Second District, Knoxville, Tenn.

(19994.)

Special tax-Army canteens.

The special tax of a retail liquor dealer (or malt liquor dealer, as the case may be) is required to be paid for the sale of alcoholic liquor at army canteens if the canteens are not Government agencies and the sales of liquor there are made for individual profit.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,

Washington, D. C., August 31, 1898.

SIR: In reply to your letter of the 25th instant, you are hereby advised that if the canteens at Camp Meade, Middletown, Pa., to

which you refer, are established under authority of the War Department and are under the control of that Department to the extent of being Government agencies, no special tax is required to be paid for the sale of liquor at such canteens. But if they are carried on merely by private individuals, for their own profit, on permits granted to them by the officers of the camp, these persons must be required to make return and pay special tax as liquors déalers (or malt liquor dealers, as the case may be), and in the event of their refusal to make return and pay special tax within the calendar month in which the liability begins you will report their cases in your next list to this office for assessment of the special tax and penalty.

Respectfully, yours,

N. B. SCOTT, Commissioner.

Mr. H. L. HERSHEY, Collector Ninth District, Lancaster, Pa.

(20233.)

Tax and special tax-Hop beer.

A fermented liquor made from hops and sugar and sold under the name "hop beer" or any other name, if it resembles in general character, taste, etc., the fermented malt liquor called "weiss beer," however small its alcoholic strength may be, is subject to tax under the first section of the war-revenue act, and persons who manufacture it for sale are required to pay special tax as brewers and tax on this beer, and also special tax as malt-liquor dealers for selling it in bottles.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,

Washington, D. C., October 22, 1898. SIR: In reply to a letter addressed to this office by one of your constituents, Mr. James H. Bingham, of Lawrence, Mass., to which you call attention in your letter of the 17th instant, asking for a ruling with reference to the beverage called "hop beer," which is to "contain 1 per cent or less of alcohol," you will please inform him that, as the first paragraph of section 3244, Revised Statutes, requires that every person shall be regarded as a brewer who "manufactures fermented liquors of any name or description, for sale, from malt, wholly or in part, or from any substitute therefor," if he should manufacture a fermented liquor from hops and sugar which resembles in general character, taste, appearance, etc., weiss beer (weiss beer being a fermented liquor made from malt, and therefore being, subject to the tax imposed upon beer by the provisions of the war-revenue act, notwithstanding the fact that its alcoholic strength is usually very small, sometimes being but 1 per cent), this hop beer must be regarded as having been made from a substitute for malt within the meaning of the statute. And if he makes it for sale he must give bond and pay special tax as a brewer and special tax as a malt-liquor dealer for selling it in bottles, and also pay tax on this beer under the first section of the war-revenue act of June 13, 1898. A genuine "root beer" or "spruce beer"—that is, a beer made from roots, herbs, or bark, or extracts thereof, with sugar-is not a similar

fermented liquor to weiss beer or to any other of the fermented malt liquors enumerated in section 3339, Revised Statutes, and therefore is not regarded as made from a substitute for malt; and the manufacturer of it is not required to pay tax thereon or special tax as a brewer and malt-liquor dealer for making and selling it.

Respectfully, yours, G. W. WILSON, Acting Commissioner. Hon. W. S. KNOX, Lawrence, Mass.

(20366.)

Special tax-Blackberry wine-Stamp tax.

A person who sells blackberry wine (a fermented liquor made from blackberry juice) is required to pay special tax as a liquor dealer for selling the wine, unless he is the manufacturer of it and has made it from berries grown by himself or gathered wild by himself or by persons in his employ, and the wine is sold by him only at the place of manufacture or at his one "general business office" (sec. 3246, Rev. Stat.). When he bottles the wine for sale, he must pay stamp tax and affix the requisite stamp on each bottle.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,

Washington, D. C., November 21, 1898. SIR: In reply to a letter of inquiry which you have addressed to this office as to whether you "can make and sell blackberry wine without special United States internal revenue license," you are hereby advised that you can not do so unless the wine is made by you from blackberries of your own growing, or gathered wild by yourself or by persons in your employ, and unless this wine is sold by you only at the place of manufacture or at but one "general business office," (sec. 3246, Rev. Stat.). If this or any other wine is put up in bottles for sale, tax must be paid thereon under the following provisions of Schedule B of the act of June 13, 1898 (war revenue act):

Sparkling or other wines, when bottled for sale, upon each bottle containing one pint or less, one cent.

Upon each bottle containing more than one pint, two cents.

Respectfully, yours, G. W. WILSON, Acting Commissioner. Mr. J. J. ROBERTSON, Tally, Va.

(20464.)

Additional tax on fermented malt liquor.

Opinion of the Attorney-General on the question of the liability of retail dealers to the additional tax of $1 a barrel on fermented inalt liquor bought by them prior to June 14, 1898, and held in stock by them on that date.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,

Washington, D. C., December 28, 1898.

The appended opinion of te honorable Attorney-General is hereby promulgated for the information and guidance of all officers of the Internal-Revenue Service.

N. B. SCOTT, Commissioner.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D. C., December 27, 1898.

SIR: Prior to the passage of the so-called war-revenue act of June 13, 1898 (30 Stat., 448), which took effect on June 14, 1898, the day next suc ceeding its passage (section 51), the tax upon fermented liquors was fixed at $1 for every barrel, and was required to be paid by the brewer, the statute (section 3339, Revised Statutes) reading:

"There shall be paid on all beer, lager beer, ale, porter, and other similar fermented liquors, brewed or manufactured and sold, or removed for consumption or sale, within the United States, by whatever name such liquors may be called, a tax of one dollar for every barrel containing not more than thirty-one gallons; and at a like rate for any other quantity or for any fractional part of a barrel.

"In estimating and computing such tax, the fractional parts of a barrel shall be, etc. (describing them). The said tax shall be paid by the owner, agent, or superintendent of the brewery or premises in which such fermented liquors are made, and in the manner and at the time hereinafter specified."

The war-revenue act of July 13, 1898, provided in its first section as follows:

"That there shall be paid, in lieu of the tax of one dollar now imposed by law, a tax of two dollars on all beer, lager beer, ale, porter, and other similar fermented liquors, brewed or manufactured and sold, or stored in warehouse, or removed for consumption or sale, within the United States, by whatever name such liquors may be called, for every barrel containing not more than thirty-one gallons; and at a like rate for any other quantity or for the fractional parts of a barrel authorized and defined by law. And section thirty-three hundred and thirty-nine of the Revised Statutes is hereby amended accordingly: Provided, That a discount of seven and one half per centum shall be allowed upon all sales by collectors to brewers of the stamps provided for the payment of said tax: Provided, further, That the additional tax imposed in this section on all fermented liquors stored in warehouse to which a stamp had been affixed shall be assessed and collected in the manner now provided by law for the collection of taxes not paid by stamps."

In view of the changes thus made in the law taxing the manufacture and sale of fermented liquors, and more especially in view of the provision requiring the tax to be paid on all fermented liquors "brewed or manufactured and sold, or stored in warehouse, or removed for consumption or sale," you submit the question, Must retail liquor dealers pay the additional tax of $1 on fermented liquors purchased by them prior to June 14, 1898, and held in stock by.them on that date?

The first section of the war-revenue act, after increasing the tax from $1 to $2 per barrel, and after making it applicable to all fermented liquors manufactured and stored in warehouse, as well as to fermented liquors manufactured and sold, or removed for consumption or sale, provides that "section thirty-three hundred and thirty-nine of the Revised Statutes is hereby amended accordingly," and then attaches the two provisos, the first allowing a discount of 7 per cent, and the second providing for the collection of the additional tax on liquors stored in warehouse by assessment. This section, therefore, amends and supplements section 3339, Revised Statutes, which, as thus modified, would read as follows:

"Section 3339. There shall be paid on all beer, lager beer, ale, porter, and other similar fermented liquors, brewed or manufactured and sold 12593-14

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