Page images
PDF
EPUB

or stored in warehouse, or removed for consumption or sale, within the United States, by whatever name such liquors may be called, a tax of two dollars 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). And 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. 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."

Section 3339 is one of a number of sections (3335 to 3354, inclusive), which compose chapter 5 of Title 35 of the Revised Statutes, and regulate the levy and collection of the tax on fermented liquors. These sections are all carefully framed for the purpose of carrying into execution a tax payable by the brewer. Thus, section 3339 requires every brewer to give notice to the collector of his intention to enter upon the brewing business; section 3336 provides for the bond which the brewer on giving such notice must execute to secure the payment of the tax; section 3337 prescribes the books the brewer must keep and the reports he must make to the collector of the fermented liquors made and sold by him; section 3338 requires a monthly verification on oath of the book entries; section 3339, quoted above, imposes the tax and expressly provides that it shall be paid by the brewer; section 3340 fixes the penalty for the brewer who evades or attempts to evade the payment of the tax; section 3341 regulates the supply and sale of the revenue stamps denoting the tax; section 3342 prescribes how these stamps shall be affixed and canceled; section 3343 provides a penalty for selling and removing or buying fermented liquors in packages without the proper stamp; section 3344 fixes the penalty for drawing fermented liquors from a package without the stamp, or without destroying the stamp thereon; section 3345 provides that any brewer, under a permit, may remove fermented liquors from his brewery to "a depot, warehouse, or other place used exclusively for storage or sale in the bulk," without affixing the stamps. This is what is known technically as a brewer's warehouse. The succeeding sections provide a penalty for counterfeiting stamps (section 3346), for the disposition of damaged liquor (section 3347), for the sale by brewers at retail (section 3348), for the branding by brewers of packages (section 3349), for a permit for a brewer to change his place of business in case of accident (section 3350), for the sale among brewers of unfermented worts (section 3351), for the forfeiture of unstamped packages of liquor wherever found outside of breweries or warehouses (section 3352), for the punishment of those who unlawfully remove or deface stamps affixed to packages (section 3353), and for the withdrawal from a brewery or warehouse to a bottling house of fermented liquor (section 3354).

In framing these sections, Congress steadily kept in mind that the tax is a tax on the manufacture and sale of fermented liquors, payable by the person who makes the liquor, the brewer. In view of this fact, and the wording of section 3339, as amended by the war-revenue act, I am disposed to think that the tax is not intended to apply to a retail dealer.

The amendment in section 3339 made by the first section of the warrevenue act, changed the word "one" before "dollar" to "two," inserted the words "or stored in warehouse" after "brewed or manufactured and sold" and added the provisos, without otherwise altering the reading of the section as it stood. It, therefore, still contains the express provision that the tax shall be paid by the brewer. While it now provides that the tax shall be paid on fermented liquors brewed or manufactured and stored in warehouse, this clearly means fermented liquors brewed or manufactured and stored in warehouse by the person liable for the tax, namely, the brewer. Congress evidently had in mind that, outside of the technical bonded brewery warehouse, where fermented liquors are stored without affixing the stamps, the great brewing establishments have agencies in the cities throughout the country, where their liquors are stored and from which they are distributed to the retail trade. If the increase in the tax had not been made applicable to liquors thus stored in warehouse, the brewers, in anticipation of the increase, could have removed immense quantities of liquors from their breweries and bonded warehouses by paying the old tax and held them in storage at their agencies, awaiting the increase in price which the imposition of the additional tax might bring. To prevent this, Congress made the increase applicable to liquors stored in warehouse, but it was liquor stored in warehouse by the brewer.

Another thing. The principal fermented liquor sold in this country is beer. It is a well-known fact that the stock of beer held by a retail dealer is, comparatively speaking, insignificant. Each day he is supplied by the brewer or his agent. The few barrels which a retail dealer keeps as his stock in trade could not properly, in my opinion, be regarded as "beer stored in warehouse." The place of business of a retail dealer in any commodity can not properly be termed a warehouse. Nor can the stock in trade which is at hand and is constantly being drawn on to supply his customers be rightfully regarded as "stored in warehouse." A warehouse is a place for storing goods, not for selling them at retail. The distinction is obvious.

Your question is, therefore, answered in the negative.
Very respectfully,

The SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.

JOHN K. RICHARDS,
Acting Attorney-General.

MANIFESTS.

(See also BILLS OF LADING; RECEIPTS; and DECISION 19605, p. 148.)

(19709.)

Stamp tax-Manifests.

Relative to stamping manifests for custom-house entries or clearance.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,

Washington, D. C., July 18, 1898. GENTLEMEN: The honorable Secretary of the Treasury some time since referred to me your letter of the 1st instant for reply.

You state that the collector of customs at Philadelphia iusists upon

[ocr errors]

the placing of an internal-revenue stamp, of the value designated under the provisions of the act of June 13, 1898, upon the import manifests of steamers from foreign ports when such manifests are deposited at the custom house. You state your opinion that the law does not sustain the collector.

You quote the paragraph from Schedule A, "manifest for customhouse entry or clearance of the cargo of any ship, vessel, or steamer for a foreign port." You remark that to maintain the stand of the collector, the wording of this paragraph would require to be as follows: "Manifest for custom-house entry or clearance of the cargo of any ship, vessel, or steamer from or for a foreign port," and in the absence of such reading you claim that the export manifest alone should bear the stamp, and not both the import and export manifests; that, furthermore, the import manifest is not a document that issues in the United States, but in the country from whence the vessel or steamer sails, and hence that is subjected to the laws and regulations of that country.

Upon the point raised, I can only say that, in view of the use of the words "manifest for custom-house entry," I have not been able to construe the law otherwise than as intending to impose the duty upon manifests of cargoes entering the country, as well as upon cargoes clearing. It is true that the word "from" appears to have been inadvertently omitted from the statute; but, as stated, there can hardly be a doubt that it was not the legislative intention to exempt entry manifests. I construe the paragraph in question as though it read "manifest for custom-house entry of the cargo of any ship, vessel, or steamer from a foreign port, or manifest for custom-house clearance of the cargo of any ship, vessel, or steamer for a foreign port."

Respectfully, yours,

Messrs. H. & A. ALLAN,

N. B. SCOTT, Commissioner.

General Agents Allan Line Steamship Company, Philadelphia, Pa.

MECHANICAL APPLIANCES.

(19702.)

Mechanical appliances.

Article called the "Fulton complexion brush" not taxable under Schedule B as either perfumery, cosmetic, or other similar article.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,

Washington, D. C, July 15, 1898. GENTLEMEN: Your letter of the 7th instant is received. You inclose a label, which you say is pasted on a small box containing a face brush which you manufacture to be used on the face and hands, and put up

one in a box, and ask if such article is liable to stamp tax under Schedule B, act of June 13, 1898.

After examining your label, it appears that it is called the "Fulton complexion brush," which improves the complexion and relieves pain by massage. "It imparts a delicious bloom and removes blemishes from the face and hands." In the opinion of this office, this is a mechanical appliance, which is not included within the terms of that part of Schedule B which taxes perfumery, cosmetics, and other similar articles.

Respectfully, yours,

N. B. SCOTT, Commissioner.

A. L. SONN BRUSH COMPANY, Lansingburg, N. Y.

(19733.) Electric belts.

Electric belts held to be mechanical appliances, and not taxable under Schedule B, act of July 13, 1898, as medicinal preparations.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,

Washington, D. C., July 19, 1898.

SIR: Mr. Stamford Agramonte, 461 Fairmount avenue, Jersey City, has written to this office asking if electric belts are taxable under the war-revenue act. You will please advise him that, in the opinion of this office, the electric belt manufactured by him, although recommended as a remedy for diseases of the human body, is a mechanical device or appliance, which is not included under the terms of Schedule B taxing medicinal preparations.

Respectfully, yours,

N. B. SCOTT, Commissioner.

Mr. WM. D. RUTAN, Collector Fifth District, Newark, N. J.

MEDICINAL PREPARATIONS.

(See also PROPRIETARY ARTICLES.)
(19522.)

Stamp tax-Medicines.

Every compound which is held out as a remedy for disease (even though the formula by which it is made is not a secret, and the manufacturers claim no proprietary right therein) is subject to stamp tax under Schedule B of the act of June 13, 1898. TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,

Washington, D. C., June 17, 1898. SIR: Messrs. Hollander, Koshlaud & Co., manufacturing pharmacists, 515 East Lombard street, Baltimore, in a letter to this office dated the 11th instant, submit the question whether the medicines which they

manufacture, "non-secret preparations," are subject to stamp tax under the act of June 13, 1898.

In regard to these preparations, they say:

The formulæ are printed on either the wrapper or the label; there is no privacy, and we claim no proprietorship, copyright, or trade-mark, anybody having the full and free privilege of putting up the same preparations and under exactly the same style if they so desire. From our reading of the present enactment we take it that such goods are exempt, as when previously proprietary preparations were stamped ours were exempt under the act of February 8, 1875, chap. 36, sec. 22.

* You will please inform them that the exempting provision of the act of February 8, 1875, to which they refer, is not contained in the present act of June 13, 1898, and that there is no provision in the present act which can be construed as exempting their medicines from the stamp tax on the ground that they are "non-secret preparations.' for which the manufacturers claim no proprietary rights. Section 20 of the act of June 13, 1898, requires that

The stamp taxes provided for in Schedule B of this act shall apply to all medicinal articles compounded by any formula, published or unpublished, which are advertised on the package or otherwise as remedies or specifics for any ailment.

*

[ocr errors]

Tax must, therefore, be paid on the medicinal compounds in question put up and sold by them, and the requisite stamp affixed to each package.

Respectfully, yours,

N. B. SCOTT, Commissioner.

Mr. B. F. PARLETT, Collector Internal Revenue, Baltimore, Md.

(19564.) Stamp tax-Soaps.

Soaps are taken out of the category of toilet or laundry articles by a special claim being made for their curative or healing properties, or for their effects on the skin or complexion, and in such cases the packages containing the same must be stamped as medicinal or cosmetic articles.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT,

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,

Washington, D. C., June 23, 1898.

SIR: Colgate & Co., of 53 and 55 John street, New York, have written this office under date of June 17, 1898, asking in regard to the liability to taxation under Schedule B of the act of June 13, 1898, of their medicated tar soap and sulphur soap (sample boxes of which have been received) and soaps of a similar character, either medicated or specially recommended as having medicinal or healing properties. You will please inform them that in regard to liability of soaps to stamp tax under said act this office rules as follows: Soaps are ordinarily laundry or toilet articles. They may, however,

« PreviousContinue »