Cigarette & Cigarette Use Taxes
Illinois Licensed Cigarette Distributors or Manufacturers
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.
NOTE: Tobacco products other than cigarettes are also taxed. (See "Tobacco Products Tax.")
What is the definition of “cigarette” effective July 1, 2012? Some tobacco products previously regulated and taxed under the Tobacco Products Tax Act, meet the new definition of “cigarette” and will be regulated and taxable under the Cigarette Tax Act and the Cigarette Use Tax Act effective July 1, 2012.
Beginning July 1, 2012, the definition of “cigarette” was expanded to include "Any roll for smoking made wholly or in part of tobacco labeled as anything other than a cigarette or not bearing a label", if it meets two or more of the following criteria:
- The product is sold in packs similar to cigarettes; [i.e., sold in packs of 20/25]
- The product is available for sale in cartons of ten packs;
- The product is sold in soft packs, hard packs, flip-top boxes, clam shells, or other cigarette-type boxes;
- The product is of a length and diameter similar to commercially-manufactured cigarettes; [i.e., 125 millimeters or less in length and 10 millimeters or less in diameter]
- The product has a cellulose acetate or other integrated filter;
- The product is marketed or advertised to consumers as a cigarette or cigarette substitute; or
- Any other evidence that the product fits within the definition of cigarette.
The Department has provided the following list to assist distributors in classifying their products. The list contains two parts. The first part identifies items the Department considers to be “cigarettes” under the expanded definition. The second part identifies products that the Department does NOT consider to be “cigarettes” under the expanded definition.
The list is NOT all inclusive. It is provided to demonstrate the type of products that are now included in or excluded from the expanded definition of “cigarette.”
Distributors selling a product that is not listed should compare that product with the items on this list. If questions remain, distributors should either send a sample or detailed photographs of their product to the Department’s Alcohol, Tobacco and Fuel Division, P.O. Box 19018, Springfield, IL 62794-9018, or call the Division at 217-782-6045.
Classified as cigarette on and after July 1, 2012
- Dark Horse 100s (20 pack, various flavors)
- Golden Harvest cigars (20 pack, various flavors)
- Red Buck cigars (20 pack, various flavors)
- Santa Fe Cigars (20 pack, various flavors)
- Muriel Sweets (20 pack, various flavors)
- Remington cigars (20 pack, various flavors)
- Wranger 100s (20 pack, various flavors)
- King Edward cigars (20 pack)
- Cheyenne 100s (20 pack, various flavors)
- Bella Cigars (20 pack, various flavors)
- Black & Mild Filter Tips (FT) 7 pack
- Swisher Sweets Little cigars (20 pack, various flavors)
- Swisher Sweets Filter Tip Cigars, slide box (16 pack)
- Black Stone Cigars (20 pack, various flavors)
- E. Nobel Petit Small Cigars (20 pack, various flavors)(clam shell box)
- Villiger Premium No. 6 sumatra (10 pack ,metal flip box; product has plastic tip with cellulose filter)
- Villiger Premium Sweets Filter (10 pack, metal flip box)
- Moods Filter Premium Cigarillos (10 pack)
- Al Capone Sweets filter (10 pack, all varieties)
- Al Capone Sweets filter, Cognac dipped, 2 pack
- Lex12 filtered little cigars (12 pack)
Continue to be taxed under Other Tobacco Products Tax on and After July 1, 2012
- Swisher Sweets Cigarillos, 2 pack foil wrapper (blueberry and other flavors)
- Black & Mild Shorts –plastic tip – 5 pack
- Phillies Cigarillos 5 pack (Strawberry and other flavors)
- Garcia y Vega Cigarillos – 3 cut-end cigars in foil wrapper
- Parodi 5 Toscano Cigars
- Swisher Sweets Cigarillos 5 pack individually foil wrapped (White Grape and other flavors)
- White Owl Cigarillos (5 pack, individually foil wrapped, various flavors including Grape, Strawberry, Silver, Sweets)
- Swisher Sweets Mini Cigarillos (6 pack), individually foil wrapped
- Clipper Cigarillos (60 pack, various flavors, including white grape and strawberry)
- Clipper Cigarillos, 2 pack foil wrapper, double apple flavor
- A y C Grenadier Whiffs Cigars, 6 pack
- Black and Mild Shorts singles – plastic tip
Use the “Tax Rate Database” to locate the rate for both Cigarette Tax and Cigarette Use Tax.
- sales out-of-state;
- cigarettes returned to manufacturers;
- cigarettes lost through fire, theft, etc., that is supported by proper documentation;
- sales of cigarettes to residents incarcerated in penal institutions and to resident patients of state-operated mental health facilities that 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 our On-line Business Registration program.
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.
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% 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.
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
- The in-state distributors return, Form RC-6, Cigarette 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 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, Distributors who affix stamps to cigarettes imported into the United States must file this form by the first business day of the month following the end of the reporting period.
- Form RC-1-A, Cigarette Tax Stamp Order-Invoice, Distributors who purchase stamps file this form as needed.
- Form RC-44, Cigarette Use Tax Return, Unlicensed individuals pay tax on unstamped cigarettes purchased from a seller by filing this form as needed, on a per-purchase basis, within 30 days of the purchase.
- The Form RC-55, Unstamped Little Cigar Sticks Tax Return (Subject to the Cigarette Tax and not in packages of 20 or 25), is due monthly by the 15th day of the month following the end of the reporting period.
A taxpayer who has 30 or more transactions per month must file electronically. For more information refer to the RC-750, Electronic Filing - Cigarette Returns.
Beginning July 1, 2003, all cigarette revenue tax stamp purchases must be paid by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).