H. B. 4573
(By Delegates Williams, Martin, Heck, Proudfoot Mezzatesta and Willison)
[Introduced February 25, 1998; referred to the
Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section seventeen, article thirteen- a, chapter eleven of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to requiring
the tax commissioner to develop a simple or short form
return for payment of timber severance tax.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section seventeen, article thirteen-a, chapter eleven
of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty- one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 13A. SEVERANCE TAXES.
§11-13A-17. Collection of tax; agreement for processor to pay tax due from severor; simplified form.
(a) General. -- In the case of natural resources, other
than natural gas, where the tax commissioner finds that it would
facilitate and expedite the collection of the taxes imposed under
this article, the tax commissioner may authorize the taxpayer
processing the natural resource to report and pay the tax which would be due from the taxpayer severing the natural resources.
The agreement shall be in
such form as the tax commissioner may
prescribe the form prescribed by the tax commissioner. The
agreement must shall be signed: By the owners, if the taxpayers
are natural persons; in the case of a partnership or association,
by a partner or member; in the case of a corporation, by an
executive officer or some person specifically authorized by the
corporation to sign the application. The agreement may be
terminated by any party to the agreement upon giving thirty days'
written notice to the other parties to the agreement: Provided,
That the tax commissioner may terminate the agreement immediately
upon written notice to the other parties when either the taxpayer
processing the natural resource or the taxpayer severing the
natural resource fails to comply with the terms of the agreement.
(b) Natural gas. --
(1) In the case of natural gas, except for those cases:
(A) Where the person severing (or both severing and
processing) the natural gas will sell the gas to the ultimate
(B) Where the tax commissioner determines that the
collection of taxes due under this article would be accomplished
in a more efficient and effective manner through the severor, or
severor and processor, remitting the taxes; the first person to
purchase the natural gas after it has been severed, or in the
event that the natural gas has been severed and processed before
the first sale, the first person to purchase the natural gas after it has been severed and processed, shall be liable for the
collection of the taxes imposed by this article. He or she shall
collect the taxes imposed from the person severing (or severing
and processing) the natural gas, and
he shall remit the taxes to
the tax commissioner. In those cases where the person severing
(or severing and processing) the natural gas sells the gas to the
ultimate consumer, the person so severing (or severing and
processing) the natural gas shall be liable for the taxes imposed
by this article. In those cases where the tax commissioner
determines that the collection of the taxes due under this
article from the severance (or severance and processing) of
natural gas would be accomplished in a more efficient and
effective manner through the severor (or severor and processor)
remitting the taxes, the tax commissioner shall set out his
determination in writing, stating his reasons for so finding, and
so advise the severor (or severor and processor) at least fifteen
days in advance of the first reporting period for which such the
action would be effective.
(2) On or before the last day of the month following each
taxable calendar month, each person first purchasing natural gas
as described in subdivision (1) above, shall report purchases of
natural gas during the taxable month, showing the quantities of
gas purchased, the price paid, the date of purchase, and any
other information deemed necessary by the tax commissioner for
the administration of the tax imposed by this article, and shall
pay the amount of tax due, on forms prescribed by the tax commissioner.
(3) On or before the last day of the month following each
taxable calendar month, each person severing (or severing and
processing) natural gas, shall report the sales of natural gas,
showing the name and address of the person to whom sold, the
quantity of gas sold, the date of sale, and the sales price on
forms prescribed by the tax commissioner.
(c) Timber. -- The tax commissioner shall develop a simple
or short form return that may be used at the option of any person
subject to the tax on the privilege of severing timber who
produces timber and sells and delivers the timber products, in
the same condition as when those products leave the forest, to a
sawmill, other manufacturer or consumer. The form shall be based
on a percentage of gross proceeds of sale as an alternate method
of determining gross value, in accordance with this article and
rules of the tax commissioner promulgated thereunder. The form
shall be designed to be comprehensible to any reasonable person
having an eighth grade education and may contain explanatory
material, not intended as a substitute for tax laws or
regulations, for the general information of the taxpayer.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require the tax
commissioner to develop a simple or short form for the payment of
timber severance tax.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.
This bill is recommended for passage during the 1998
Regular Legislative session by the Forest Management Review Commission.