Business News

Sweetened Beverage Tax Close Out Process

November 8, 2017

The Cook County Board has repealed the Sweetened Beverage Tax Ordinance. The repeal will be effective December 1, 2017, and the last tax returns/payments will be due on December 20, 2017.

If you have unsold product in which you paid the tax, you can request a credit or refund. Below is an explanation of how to request a credit or refund from the Cook County Department of Revenue.

  • Retailers who are not registered with the Department and paid tax to a distributor: These retailers must apply for a credit/refund from their distributors. Distributors should require documentation to substantiate a retailer’s claim.
  • Distributors who credited/refunded tax to a retailer: After providing a credit/refund to a retailer, the distributor can then take a credit on their final tax return or apply for a refund from the Department. Should the distributor credit/refund any retailers prior to submitting the final tax return, they may take a credit on that final return on the “Other Deductions” line. Supporting documentation must be attached and retained by the distributor. If a distributor provides a credit/refund to a retailer after submitting its final tax return, it must apply for a refund using the regular refund application located on the Department’s website and supply supporting documentation.
  • Retailers who are registered with the Department pursuant to Sweetened Beverage Tax Regulations 2017-1 and 2017-4: These retailers can take a credit on their final tax return on the “Other Deductions” line or apply for a refund. Documentation supporting the credit/refund request must be submitted.
  • Retailers who remitted floor tax to the Department: Retailers that have in their inventory specific products on which tax was paid via the floor tax return and have not been sold must submit a refund application, located on the Department’s website, to the Department. Supporting documentation must show that these specific products have remained in inventory and are the same products for which the floor tax was originally remitted.

The Department has developed new forms that can be used to assist with the credit/refund process. The forms are included with this letter and should be used in the following manner:

2017 Sweetened Beverage Retailer Inventory Credit Request Form and Schedule A: This form is not mandatory, but can be used by retailers to record the product information on which they are requesting a credit/refund from their distributor. This form is not meant to replace a distributor’s established credit/refund process. If a distributor requires more information than is captured by this form, the retailer must submit all information required by the distributor.

Sweetened Beverage Tax Distributor Credit Form Schedule: This form documents the retailers who have gotten credits/refunds from a distributor along with the amounts of said credits/refunds. Distributors must complete and submit this form to the Department along with the final tax return (in case of a credit) or refund application.

The Department may request additional documentation if you’re seeking a credit/refund. They recommend saving your credit/refund request documents for seven years.

If you have any questions, please contact the Cook County Department of Revenue during business hours Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at (312) 603-6961. For more information or to make a payment online, visit their website at

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