Directive


Subject: New Tax on Pawnbrokers and Check-Cashing Businesses
Tax: Privilege Tax
Law: G.S. 105-88 and Chapter 438 of the 1999 Session Laws
Issued By: Corporate, Excise, and Insurance Tax Division
Date: September 15, 1999
Number: CD-99-2

This directive informs pawnbrokers and check-cashing businesses of their liability for the privilege tax imposed by G.S. 105-88 for the 1999-00 fiscal year and subsequent years. It also clarifies the Department of Revenue's position concerning the liability of check-cashing businesses for the tax imposed by G.S. 105-88 for years preceding the 1999-00 fiscal year.

Liability for New $250 Tax
Chapter 438 of the 1999 Session Laws amended G.S. 105-88 to make two more types of businesses subject to the loan agency privilege tax. The two are check-cashing businesses regulated under Article 22 of Chapter 53 of the General Statutes and pawnbrokers regulated under Chapter 91A of the General Statutes. That tax is $250 for each location of a business. If both a check-cashing business and a pawnbroker business are conducted at the same location, the tax is $250 for each. The amendment became effective July 1, 1999. Therefore, the new tax first applies to the twelve-month period that began July 1, 1999.

The tax for the period July 1, 1999 through June 30, 2000 is due by October 20, 1999. Use the enclosed form B-202A to make your payment. Fill in the circle for "First-Time Applicant" and for "Loan Agency." Give the start date of the activity as 07-01-1999, unless you first started in business after that date. In that case, give the date you started the business. Complete the block provided for professional individuals to give a code number and license description. Use code number 568 if you are a check-cashing business, and use code number 569 if you are a pawnbroker. Write either "Pawnbroker" or "Check-cashing Business," as appropriate, in the box for the license description. In the space for the applicant's name, fill out the loan agency lines. The tax due is $250 rather than the $750 shown in the instructions for a loan agency. If you operate at more than one location, complete a separate form for each location.

Prior Liability of Check-Cashing Businesses
Check-cashing businesses became subject to Article 22 of Chapter 53 of the North Carolina General Statutes on October 1, 1997. G.S. 53-283(2), in that Article, prohibits a check-cashing business from making a loan. Because of this prohibition, the Department has determined that check-cashing businesses are not liable for the loan agency license imposed by G.S. 105-88 during the period October 1, 1997 through June 30, 1999. Before the enactment of Article 22, the Department required a check-cashing business to pay the loan agency license tax if the business extended credit by postdated or delayed deposit checks.

In two circumstances, a check-cashing business may obtain a refund of the loan agency tax it previously paid. The two circumstances are:

  1. The check-cashing business began its operations on or after October 1, 1997, and it paid the tax for the privilege of engaging in the business from the day its operations began through June 30, 1998.
  2. The check-cashing business paid the tax for the privilege of engaging in the business at any time during the period beginning July 1, 1998, and ending June 30, 1999.

To request a refund, submit a claim to the Privilege Tax Unit of the Department at P.O. Box 25000. State in the claim the amount of refund requested, the period for which the tax was paid, and your federal employer identification number. If you have questions about how to claim a refund or whether you are eligible for a refund, you may call the Privilege Tax Unit of the North Carolina Department of Revenue at (919)-733-3673.

A check-cashing business that engaged in lending activities beyond the scope of Article 22 is not eligible for a refund. Activities beyond the scope of Article 22 include making loans against automobile titles and operating a business that includes both a check-cashing division and a loan-making division.

If you have questions about this Directive, you may call or write the Department's Privilege Tax Unit at the number and address given in the preceding paragraphs. You may also call the Corporate, Excise, and Insurance Tax Division of the North Carolina Department of Revenue at (919) 733-8510, or write to that Division at P.O. Box 871, Raleigh, N.C. 27602-0871.