About The Unauthorized Substances Tax
(North Carolina General Statutes 105-113.105 Through 105-113.113)
What is the unauthorized substances tax?
The unauthorized substances tax is an excise tax on controlled substances (marijuana, cocaine, etc.), illicit spirituous liquor ("moonshine"), mash and illicit mixed beverages.
Who is required to pay the tax?
The tax is due by any individual who possesses an unauthorized substance upon which the tax has not been paid, as evidenced by a stamp.
When is the tax due?
The tax is payable within 48 hours after an individual acquires possession of an unauthorized substance upon which the tax has not been paid, as evidenced by a stamp.
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 other identifying information.
What should I do with the stamps that I receive after I pay the tax?
The stamps must be permanently affixed to the unauthorized substance. Once the tax due on an unauthorized substance has been paid and the stamps affixed, no additional tax is due even though the unauthorized substance may be handled or possessed by other individuals in the future.
Will the Department of Revenue notify law enforcement if I purchase stamps to affix to my unauthorized substances?
No. Not withstanding any other provision of law, information obtained pursuant to the unauthorized substances tax law is confidential and may not be disclosed or, unless independently obtained, used in a criminal prosecution other than a prosecution for a violation of the unauthorized substances tax law. Revenue employees who divulge information regarding stamp purchasers to law enforcement shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
How are unauthorized substances tax collections used?
Seventy-five percent (75%) of the money collected is returned to the state or local law enforcement agency whose investigation led to the assessment. The remaining twenty-five percent (25%) of the money collected is credited to the General Fund.
If I purchase stamps will I then be in legal possession of the drugs?
No, purchasing stamps only fulfills your civil unauthorized substance tax obligation. You will still be in violation of the criminal statues of North Carolina for possessing the drugs.
What number can I call to get an application for stamps or more information on the unauthorized substances tax?