About the Unauthorized Substances Tax

North Carolina General Statutes 105-113.105 Through 105-113.113

File Unauthorized Substances Tax Return.

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 tax 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 tax paid stamp.

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How do I purchase Unauthorized Substances Tax Stamps?

You can purchase Tax Stamps two ways:

  1. You can buy them in person at a service center, between the hours of 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday.
  2. You can mail in the completed BD-1 or BD-1L form (it includes the number of tax stamps you would like to purchase) along with payment in full. 
    • Tax paid stamps are mailed certified mail to the address listed on the BD-1/BD-1L form. If you do not wish to list your name and/or SSN, you may remain anonymous, but you still must have a valid mailing address for the stamps to be mailed.
    • Mail Tax Stamp order to:

North Carolina Department of Revenue
Post Office Box 871
Raleigh, NC 27602 

Do I have to identify myself when I purchase tax stamps?

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. 

You may choose to purchase them anonymously but if you do not want to provide a valid mailing address, it will require the purchase to be done in person at a service center.

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How can I pay for my tax stamps?

You can  use the following acceptable forms of payment for in person sales:

  • Cash - Exact change only; NCDOR will not be able to provide change at the time of purchase in a service center.
    • If you are mailing in your payment, do not send cash.
  • Certified funds/cashier's check made out to the NCDOR
  • Money order

Can I schedule an appointment to purchase tax stamps the same way I schedule a meeting at a service center?

No, you must call (919) 707-7596 to schedule an appointment to purchase Unauthorized Substances Tax Stamps.

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.

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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.

Any other questions? Please call (919) 707-7596.

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