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RULE §45.131Cash Law

(a) Purpose. This rule implements §102.31of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code (Code).

(b) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meaning given in this subsection.

  (1) Cash equivalent--A financial transaction or instrument that is not conditioned on the availability of funds upon presentment, including money order, cashier's check, certified check or completed electronic funds transfer.

  (2) Cash payment--United States currency and coins, or a cash equivalent financial transaction or instrument.

  (3) Event--A financial transaction or instrument that fails to provide payment to a Retailer and results in one or more incidents to one or more Sellers.

  (4) Incident--One financial transaction or instrument made by a Retailer that fails to provide payment in full for malt beverages delivered by a Seller to the Retailer. Failure to submit payment also constitutes an incident.

  (5) Malt beverages--Ale or malt liquor containing more than four percent of alcohol by weight and beer containing one-half of one percent or more of alcohol by volume and not more than four percent alcohol by weight.

  (6) Retailer--A license or permit holder and their agents, servants and employees, authorized to sell malt beverages for on or off premise consumption to an ultimate consumer.

  (7) Seller--As used in this section means:

    (A) the holder of a local distributor's permit when selling malt beverages to a mixed beverage permittee or daily temporary mixed beverage permittee, or an agent, servant, or employee of a local distributor's permit holder when selling malt beverages to such permittees;

    (B) the holder of a brewpub license when selling beer to Retailers;

    (C) the holder of a general, local or branch distributor's license;

    (D) the holder of a manufacturer's self- distribution license; and

    (E) the agents, servants, and employees of a license holder identified in subparagraphs (B) - (D) when selling beer to a Retailer.

(c) Invoices. A delivery of malt beverages by a Seller, to a Retailer, must be accompanied by an invoice of sale showing the name and permit number of the Seller and the Retailer, a full description of the malt beverages, the price, the place and date of delivery.

  (1) The Seller's copy of the invoice must be signed by the Retailer to verify receipt of malt beverages and accuracy of invoice and by the Seller to acknowledge payment was received on or before the delivery.

  (2) The Seller and Retailer must retain invoices for four years from the date of delivery.

  (3) Invoices may be created, signed and retained in an electronic or internet based inventory system, and may be retained on or off the licensed premise, as long as the records can be accessed from the licensed premise and made available to the commission during normal business hours.

(d) Cash Payment Violation. A Retailer who fails to make a cash payment to a Seller for the delivery of malt beverages violates this section unless an exception applies.

  (1) A Retailer who violates this section must pay the amount due, and a Seller may accept payment, only in cash or cash equivalent.

  (2) For purposes of this section, the Retailer includes all persons who are or were owners, officers, directors, managers or shareholders of the Retailer at the time a cash payment violation occurs.

(e) Reporting Violation and Payment; Failure to Report.

  (1) A report of a violation must be submitted electronically on the forms provided on the commission's web based reporting system at www.tabc.texas.gov.

  (2) A Seller who cannot access the commission's web based reporting system must either:

    (A) submit a request for exception to submit reports by paper; or

    (B) contract with another Seller or service provider to make electronic reports on behalf of the Seller.

  (3) All reports of violations under this subsection must be made to the commission within two business days from the date the violation is discovered by the Seller.

  (4) A Seller who fails to report a violation as required by this subsection is in violation of this section.

(f) Exception. A Retailer who wishes to dispute a violation of this section, based on a good faith dispute between the Retailer and the Seller may submit supporting documents and a detailed written statement to the commission with a copy to the Seller explaining the basis of the dispute.

  (1) The written statement must be submitted with documents and/or other records tending to support the Retailer's dispute, which may include:

    (A) a copy of the front and back of the cancelled check of Retailer showing endorsement and deposit by Seller;

    (B) bank statement or records of bank showing funds were available in the account of Retailer on the date the check was delivered to Seller; and

    (C) bank statement or records showing:

      (i) bank error or circumstances beyond the control of Retailer caused the check to be returned to Seller unpaid; or

      (ii) the check cleared Retailer's account and funds were withdrawn from Retailer's account in the amount of the check.

  (2) The Retailer must immediately submit a notice of resolution of a dispute to the commission under this subsection.

(g) Penalty for Violation. An action to cancel or suspend a permit or license may be initiated under the Code for one or more violations of this section. The commission may consider whether a violation is the result of an event or incident when initiating an action under this subsection.

(h) Calculation of Time. Sundays and legal holidays are not counted in determining time periods under this section.

Source Note: The provisions of this §45.131 adopted to be effective November 29, 2009, 34 TexReg 8503; amended to be effective November 18, 2010, 35 TexReg 10051; amended to be effective December 15, 2013, 38 TexReg 9019; amended to be effective December 8, 2016, 41 TexReg 9508

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