Illinois Department of Revenue
 
 
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Cigarette & Cigarette Use Taxes

 
 

Statutory Reference

Electronic Services

Definition

The Cigarette Tax Act imposes a tax on the occupation of selling cigarettes at retail. Licensed distributors prepay the tax through the purchase of stamps, which are affixed (either heat-transferred or hand applied) to each cigarette package. The distributor collects the tax from the retailer at or before the time of sale. The retailer passes the tax on to the consumer in the cigarette sale price.

The Cigarette Use Tax Act imposes a tax on the privilege of using cigarettes in Illinois. This act duplicates the provisions of the Cigarette Tax Act.

“Cigarette” means any roll for smoking made wholly or in part of tobacco irrespective of size or shape and whether or not such tobacco is flavored, adulterated or mixed with any other ingredient, and the wrapper or cover of which is made of paper or any other substance or material except tobacco.

NOTE: Tobacco products other than cigarettes are also taxed. (See "Tobacco Products Tax.")

The Tobacco Products Tax Act imposes the tax on little cigars at the same rate as the tax imposed on cigarettes under the Cigarette Tax Act and the Cigarette Use Tax Act. Little cigars sold in packages of 20 or 25 sticks must be affixed with a cigarette tax stamp. Distributors selling both cigarettes and little cigars are considered “stamping distributors.” See below for licensing and form filing requirements for stamping distributors. Stamping Distributors also must meet all the filing requirements of a tobacco products distributor.

“Little cigar” means and includes any roll, made wholly or in part of tobacco, where such roll has an integrated cellulose acetate filter and weighs less than 4 pounds per thousand and the wrapper or cover of which is made in whole or in part of tobacco.

Tax Rate

Use the “Tax Rate Database” to locate the rate for both Cigarette Tax and Cigarette Use Tax.

Allowable Deductions

  • sales out-of-state;
  • cigarettes and little cigars returned to manufacturers;
  • cigarettes and little cigars lost through fire, theft, etc., if the loss is supported by proper documentation;
  • sales to residents incarcerated in penal institutions and to resident patients of state-operated mental health facilities when the cigarettes or little cigars have been manufactured as part of a correctional industries program;
  • sales to U.S. military personnel through officially recognized agencies physically located at military bases; and
  • direct sales to U.S. veteran's hospitals.

Additional Registration, License fee and bonding requirements

In addition to filing Form REG-1, Illinois Business Registration Application, distributors must pay a $250 annual fee and post a $2,500 bond for each location. You may also register using MyTax Illinois.

Form IDR-169, Application for Cigarette Transporter Permit, must be completed if unstamped cigarettes will be
• purchased as a sale for resale in a state other than Illinois,
• transported through Illinois but not sold in Illinois, and
• delivered to another state.

These cigarettes cannot be returned to Illinois.

Distributors selling both cigarettes and little cigars are considered “stamping distributors” and must be licensed under the Cigarette Tax Act or the Cigarette Use Tax Act and the Tobacco Products Tax Act.

Secondary distributors must also be licensed. A secondary distributor is any person engaged in the business of selling cigarettes, who purchases stamped original packages of cigarettes from a licensed distributor under the Cigarette Tax Act or the Cigarette Use Tax Act, sells 75 percent or more of those cigarettes to retailers for resale, and maintains an established business where a substantial stock of cigarettes is available to retailers for resale.

Local Taxes

Cigarette taxes may exist in both home rule and non-home rule municipalities.  The Department of Revenue does not collect locally imposed cigarette taxes.

Form/Filing & Payment Requirements

Cigarette Distributors

  • The in-state distributors return, Form RC-6, Cigarette and Little Cigar Revenue Return, is due monthly by the 15th day of the month following the end of the reporting period.
  • The out-of-state distributors return, Form RC-6-A, Out-of-State Cigarette and Little Cigar Revenue Return, is due monthly by the 15th day of the month following the end of the reporting period.
  • Form RC-25, Cigarette Importation Report, must be filed by distributors by the first business day of the month following the end of the reporting period.
  • Form RC-1-A, Cigarette Tax Stamp Order-Invoice, is filed as needed to purchase cigarette tax stamps.
  • Form RCS-36 Schedule CSM, Sales of Cigarettes and Little Cigars to Illinois Secondary Cigarette Distributors, must be filed using MyTax Illinois and is due by the 15th day of the month following the transaction being reported.
  • Form RC-55, Unstamped Little Cigar Sticks Tax Return, is due monthly by the 15th day of the month following the end of the reporting period.

Stamping Distributors

Secondary Distributors

  • Form RCS-1, Secondary Distributors/Manufacturer Representatives Report, must be filed using MyTax Illinois and is due monthly by the 15th day of the month following the end of the reporting period.

Cigarette Manufacturers

  • Form RC-36 Schedule CM, Sales of Cigarettes and Little Cigars into Illinois by Manufacturers or Importers, is due by the 5th day of the month following the transaction being reported.

Unlicensed Individuals

  • Form RC-44, Cigarette Use Tax Return, is filed as needed, on a per-purchase basis, to pay tax on unstamped cigarettes purchased from a seller and is due within 30 days of the purchase.

Electronic Filing

A taxpayer who has 30 or more transactions per month must file electronically. For more information refer to RC-750, Electronic Filing - Cigarette Returns. Most Cigarette Tax and Cigarette Use Tax returns and reports can be filed for free at MyTax Illinois.

Electronic Payments

Beginning July 1, 2003, all cigarette tax stamp purchases must be paid by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).

Questions?

  • Call us weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at: 217-782-6045
  • Write us at:
    ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FUEL DIVISION
    ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
    PO BOX 19019
    SPRINGFIELD IL 62794-9019

 

 
 
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