Lawsuit Dismissed - Cook County Beverage Tax Takes Effect August 2, 2017

grocery store beverage aisle

Circuit Court judge dismissed the lawsuit against the County regarding the Sweetened Beverage Tax. Retailers must begin collecting the tax on Wednesday, August 2nd.  Retailers that are required to remit a floor tax must calculate the tax based on their inventory as of August 1st. The calculation is based on how many ounces the syrup or powder can produce, not just how many ounces of syrup or powder you have in inventory.  The floor tax must be remitted to Cook County by September 20th. The tax will affect all 5.2 million residents of Cook County, the largest jurisdiction to pass a soda tax thus far. This penny-an-ounce tax is collected on bottle, cans, and fountain drinks that are sweetened, such as soda, ice tea, lemonade, and sports drinks. The tax will also be on diet colas and other drinks containing artificial sweeteners but will exclude milk and medically necessary drinks.

If you are a retailer that accepts SNAP (food stamps), you can register as a distributor and your vendor will not charge you the tax, however, you will need to self-assess this beverage tax on remaining sales. If you are a distributor or a retailer that qualifies to be registered as a distributor, you must register with the department. The registration can be found on the Department’s website

If you are located in Cook County and sell any beverages that fall into those categories, make sure your POS systems are updated so that you will correctly begin collecting the tax from your customers when the tax goes into effect.

If you have any questions on this topic, please contact Kelly Switt, Bill Sebastiano, or Ashley Barak in our State and Local Tax Department or call us at 847-956-1040.

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