Retail Accountability Program - Wholesalers

Purpose of the Retail Accountability Program

For general information about the purpose of the Retail Accountability Program, click here

Original Reporting Requirements

Since 2012, beer and tobacco wholesalers have been filing a monthly information report of sales to retailers on all tobacco and beer purchases.  These reports are still required for all beer and tobacco wholesalers.  Occasionally, these wholesalers have freely provided more than tobacco and beer purchases.  

Beginning July 25, 2016, Candy, Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages Will Be Reported

Wholesalers making sales of $500,000 or more per year of candy, food and non-alcoholic beverage products must now report these sales to the Department. While not required, wholesalers may also include non-food sales in the report if doing so is more convenient. To accommodate this possibility, the file layout includes a general category for these products.

Information can be reported by invoice or combined into one total amount purchased by the retailer for the month or quarter being reported.

The first reports, due July 25, 2016, should include sales made during the first two quarters of 2016. 

Exempt Food Categories

You do not need to report on perishable grocery food items, such as:

Fruits, vegetables, deli meats, deli cheese, deli salads, other deli products, milk, yogurt, ice cream, fresh meats, refrigerated meats, frozen meats, frozen dinners/entrees/meals, frozen pizza, and other frozen foods.

Affiliated Sales

You do not need to report candy, food and non-alcoholic beverage sales made to an affiliate(s) , which means that the wholesaler owns more than 50% of the retailer, or vice-versa, or the wholesaler and retailer are more than 50 percent owned by a common parent (ownership can be direct or indirect).  Please contact RAP if you are unsure whether there is an affiliate relationship.   

Sales of candy, food and non-alcoholic beverages may also be excluded if the retailer you are selling to purchases more than 50 percent of these items from a wholesaler that is affiliated with that retailer, and the retailer notifies you in writing that this requirement is met.  Keep the written notification, as you may be asked to  provide it to the Department upon request. This affiliate exemption does not apply to beer and tobacco sales.  Sales of beer and tobacco products must be reported.


Beer and tobacco sales should continue to be reported and categorized as either cigarettes, other tobacco products, or beer.

Candy, food, and non-alcoholic beverages sold to retailers should simply be categorized as food and beverages.  If it is simpler for a wholesaler to include other non-beer and non-tobacco sales in the report, those products can be reported in a general non-food or all other category.

The recommended categories and category codes are listed below:

Category Name Category Code  
Cigarettes 02-00-00 Reported since 2012
Other Tobacco 03-00-00 Reported since 2012
Beer 04-00-00 Reported since 2012
Food and Beverages (non-alcoholic) 19-00-00 New
Non-food (all other) 22-00-00 Optional *

*Code to be used if reporting additional product.

While not required, you may use NACS category codes or subcategory codes beyond the first two digits.

If you prefer not to use the NACS codes listed above, the file layout will accept UPC codes instead.  If you cannot provide the NACS codes listed above or UPC codes, please contact the Department to discuss an alternative.  In order for the file to upload properly, alternative codes should use numbers only (no letters or symbols).

If your record keeping system does not allow for the inclusion of any category code in the file, the report must still be submitted with this field left blank.  However, beer and tobacco products must continue to be reported with a valid category code.

Reports may be filed monthly or quarterly.  The report will be due on the 25th of the month following the reporting period.  For example, for a monthly filing, an October report would be due on November 25.  For quarterly filings, a report that covers October, November and December would be due on January 25.

Files should be uploaded in your Tennessee Taxpayer Access Point (TNTAP) account using your INF reporting account.

Data should be prepared using this file layout.

If you are unable to provide your information in the file layout requested but have the information in a different layout, please contact us to discuss how your file may be submitted. Also, if you do not maintain your records electronically, please contact us. 

To sell wholesale products to a retailer and not charge and collect sales tax, you must have a valid certificate of resale or exemption certificate signed and dated by the purchaser. A certificate must include the purchaser's sales tax Location ID.  You can verify the Location ID on sales and use tax resale or exemption certificates through the Tennessee Taxpayer Access Point (TNTAP).  Click on the Sale and Use Tax Certificate link under the Look Up Information and Requests heading.  Sales and use tax registration through Tennessee Taxpayer Access Point (TNTAP) include a consolidated sales and use account number and a Location ID for each specific location.  Therefore, a chain store should have a separate certificate of resale for each location.  Please make use of the account look-up application and include a valid sales tax location ID for each retailer (fourth column) in the reports you file.  If your system is unable to accommodate this requirement, please contact RAP for assistance.  

RAP Hotline:  (615) 741-9300 or toll free within Tennessee at (855) 286-7423

Retail Accountability FAQs