Wednesday, August 6, 2008

For Your Amusement

There is a so-called "Unathorized Substance Tax" in Tennessee. I remember hearing about this in law school, but I thought it was a hoax. You're probably wondering what this unauthorized substance tax is all about... I'll let the state of Tennessee do the talking per the state's official website:

1.What is the unauthorized substances tax?

The unauthorized substances tax is a state excise tax levied on controlled substances (marijuana, cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, etc.) and certain illicit alcoholic beverages (untaxed liquors and spirits).

2. Who is required to pay the tax?

The tax is due by any dealer who possesses an unauthorized substance upon which the tax has not been paid as evidenced by a stamp available from the Tennessee Department of Revenue. A "dealer" is any person who possesses one or more marijuana plants or more than 42.5 grams of marijuana, seven or more grams of any other unauthorized substance that is sold by weight, 10 or more dosage units of any other unauthorized substance not sold by weight, or any illicit alcoholic beverage.

3. When is the tax due?

The tax is payable within 48 hours after the dealer acquires actual or constructive possession of a non-tax-paid unauthorized substance, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays of this state, in which case the tax is payable on the next working day. If a dealer is found in possession of a taxable substance, it will be presumed he/she had possession of the substance for more than 48 hours. Penalty and interest will be assessed pursuant to the provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 67, Chapter 1, Part 8.

4. Do I have to identify myself when I pay the tax?

No. Individuals who purchase stamps from the department of revenue are not required to give their name, address, Social Security number, or any other identifying information.

5. Will the Department of Revenue notify law enforcement if I purchase stamps?

No. Information obtained pursuant to the unauthorized substances tax law is strictly confidential and may not be disclosed or used in a criminal prosecution other than a prosecution for a violation of the unauthorized substances tax law.

So, illegal activity is being legally taxed but not reported to law enforcement. Doesn't that make you feel all warm and fuzzy? I have my suspicions that no drug dealer is waltzing into this office to pay the tax. More information can be found here (for proof that this is not a joke).


RJM said...

That is absolutely hilarious!

Scott and Jenn said...

That is almost unbelievable!

t marie said...

There was a piece about this tax on the news last year. What a head-scratcher.

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