DRS: Bottle Bill Frequently Asked Questions

Bottle Deposit Frequently Asked Questions

Q1.  Who is a deposit initiator?

 

A deposit initiator is the first distributor to collect the deposit on a beverage container sold to any person within Connecticut. 

A distributor is a person who engages in the sale of beverages subject to the Connecticut bottle bill to a dealer in Connecticut. A distributor includes any manufacturer who engages the sale of beverages subject to the Connecticut bottle bill to a dealer in Connecticut. A distributor also includes a dealer in Connecticut who engages in the sale of beverages subject to the Connecticut bottle bill on which no deposit has been collected prior to retail sale. 

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) determines whether a person is a deposit initiator. When DEP determines that a person is a deposit initiator, DEP advises the Department of Revenue Services (DRS), and DRS then registers the deposit initiator.

 

Q2. When must a deposit initiator begin to file Beverage Container Deposit Reports with DRS?

A.  Beginning with the report for the quarter ending September 30, 2010, a deposit initiator must file Form OP-515, Beverage Container Deposit Report, with DRS each quarter.  All reports for earlier quarters must be filed with DEP. In addition, beginning with quarter ending September 30, 2010, all Connecticut bottle deposit payments must be made to DRS.

Q3.  May a deposit initiator use the same form that it used to file its quarterly report with DEP?

A. No. DRS has developed its own form: Form OP-515, Beverage Container Deposit Report.  Form OP-515 may only be filed electronically and can be accessed through the Department’s Taxpayer Service Center (TSC).

Q4. May a deposit initiator file Form OP-515, Beverage Container Deposit Report, in paper form or by phone?

A. No.  The only allowable method for filing Form OP-515 is electronically, using the Taxpayer Service Center (TSC). In addition, Connecticut bottle bill deposit payments must be made electronically.

Q5. If Form OP-515, Beverage Container Deposit Report, reports that a deposit initiator owes a payment to the state, may the payment be made by check?

A. No. All Connecticut bottle bill deposit payments must be made electronically.

Q6. May a deposit initiator use the Taxpayer Service Center (TSC) to file a Beverage Container Deposit Report for a quarter ending before September 30, 2010?

A. No.  Any report for a quarter ending before September 30, 2010 must be filed with DEP using the DEP paper form.

Q7. What does a deposit initiator need to do if the deposit initiator is using the Department’s Taxpayer Service Center (TSC) for the first time?

A. Click on the link below and follow the instructions on how to “Set Up Your Account in the TSC” - TSC Set up page

 

Q8.  What are the due dates for the quarterly reports?

A. The due dates for the quarterly reports are January 31, April 30, July 31 and October 31.  Because Form OP-515, Beverage Container Deposit Report, must be filed electronically, and any amounts due must be paid electronically, if the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, a deposit initiator must file the report and pay any amount due no later than 4:30 p.m. on the last banking day prior the due date.

 

Q9. If a deposit initiator files Form OP-515 after the due date, will penalty and interest be owed?

A. Yes. The penalty for a late payment made electronically is:

  • 2% of an electronic payment not more than 5 days late;
  • 5% of an electronic payment more than 5 days but not more than 15 days late; and
  • 10% of an electronic payment more than 15 days late.
A separate billing notice will be sent reflecting any penalty and interest due. NOTE: Any penalty or interest incurred must not be paid from funds in the special account.  This payment must, however, be made electronically.

 

Q10. In completing Form OP-515, Beverage Container Deposit Report, what amount is to be entered on Line 1 (“Beginning Balance in the Special Account”)?

A. In completing Form OP-515 for the quarter ending September 30, 2010, the beginning balance is the amount entered on Part IV, Line 9 (“Ending Deposit Account Balance”) of the DEP Beverage Containers Deposit Initiators Quarterly Filing Report for quarter ending June 30, 2010.  (If the ending deposit account balance was zero or less than zero, enter zero.)

In completing Form OP-515 for a quarter subsequent to the quarter ending September 30, 2010, the beginning balance is the amount entered on Line 10 (“Special Account Balance at Close of Quarter”) of the preceding quarter’s Form OP-515.

 

Q11.  What happens if the ending deposit account balance entered on Form OP-515, Beverage Container Deposit Report, Line 10 (“Special Account Balance at Close of Quarter”) is a negative number?

If the ending deposit account balance entered on Form OP-515, Line 10 (“Special Account Balance at Close of Quarter”) is a negative number, the deposit initiator does not make a payment to the state.  On the next quarterly report that is due, the deposit initiator will: 1) enter a zero on Form OP-515, Line 1 (“Beginning Balance in Special Account”); and 2) enter the amount listed on Line 10 (“Special Account Balance at Close of Quarter”) as a positive number on Line 8 (“Amount by Which Withdrawals for Bottle Deposit Refunds Exceeded Bottle Deposits in Previous Quarter”).


Questions on the Special Account

Q11. Must every deposit initiator maintain a separate bank account for Connecticut bottle deposits?

A. Yes. Every deposit initiator must open a new separate bank account at a Connecticut branch of a financial institution. This account will be used to deposit the refund value (typically 5 cents per container) for each beverage container sold in the state.  DRS refers to this account as the special account.

 

Q12. What funds must be deposited in the special account?

A. The full refund value (typically 5 cents per container) for every beverage container subject to the bottle bill sold in Connecticut must be deposited in the special account by the required date.

 

Q13. When must funds be deposited in the special account?

A. The full refund value for every beverage container sold in Connecticut shall be deposited in the special account not more than thirty business days after the date that such container is sold.

 

Q14. What funds may be withdrawn from the special account?

A. The deposit initiator may withdraw an amount equal to the refund value for containers redeemed by customers (typically 5 cents per container) from the special account.  In addition, a deduction from the special account is allowed for any bank service charges and overdraft charges. Expenses, including but not limited to, handling fees paid to retailers; costs for labor; costs for transportation, etc., may not be withdrawn from the special account.

 

Q15. What records must be kept by a deposit initiator concerning the special account?

A. Deposit initiators must keep adequate records to document the amounts deposited in the special account, and the amounts withdrawn from the special account.


Questions on Exemption requests

Q16.  Is any person exempt from the Connecticut bottle bill deposit requirements?

A.  Yes. Any manufacturer which, on an annual basis, bottles and sells less than 250,000 noncarbonated beverage containers may seek an exemption by filing a form and affidavit with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection no later than November 1st of each year. A  manufacturer is either (1) every person bottling, canning or otherwise filling beverage containers for sale to distributors or dealers, or (2) in the case of a private label brand, the owner of the private label trademark. Exemptions are handled by DEP (not DRS).  An exemption form must be completed with the actual number of containers bottled and sold for the first three quarters of the year and with an estimated number of containers bottled and sold for the final quarter. This form can be found on the DEP website at "The Connecticut Bottle Bill".

Q17.  For what time period is an exemption valid?

A.  An exemption is valid for one year.  Therefore, a manufacturer must request an exemption from the DEP (not DRS) on an annual basis.  The exemption must be requested by filing the required form with DEP no later than November 1 of each year.

NOTE: If a manufacturer did not request an exemption on or before November 1, 2009 for the 2010 year, the manufacturer must file quarterly reports for 2010.  The reports due for the first two quarters of 2010 must be filed with DEP. The reports due for the last two quarters of 2010 must be filed electronically with DRS.