• When is there an inventory tax?
    • When the cigarette tax rate increases, an inventory tax is charged to all permittees and retailers who possess stamped cigarettes held for resale on which the cigarette tax was paid at the prior rate and upon unaffixed stamps in the possession of distributors.
    • The inventory tax is the amount by which the cigarette tax rate increases.
    • The inventory tax return is due 30 days after the effective date of the tax increase.
  • If I file a late return, will I be charged?

    Yes. If you file your return late, you will be charged

    • Late filing fee $10
    • Delinquent interest 1.5% of the amount of tax due per month
    • Penalty a false or fraudulent return may be charged equal to the tax that the person evaded or attempted to evade sec. 139.315, Wis. Stats. .
  • Do I need a permit to handle cigarettes?

    Yes. If you handle cigarettes at the wholesale level in Wisconsin, you must have a cigarette permit issued by the Department of Revenue (DOR). If you apply for a cigarette permit, you must hold a Business Tax Registration (BTR) Certificate sec. 73.03(50), Wis. Stats. .

    • To apply for a BTR Certificate and a cigarette permit call the Excise Tax Unit at (608) 266 6701 or email excise
    • There is a $20 registration fee for the BTR Certificate.
    • The certificate is renewable every two years for $10.

    Note The BTR certificate and cigarette permits are valid until canceled by the permittee or until revoked by DOR. You only need one BTR certificate regardless of the number of permits or licenses you hold with DOR.

    DOR issues these wholesale cigarette permits

    Types of Wholesale Permits/(Account Prefix) Statute Fee Term of Permit Wisconsin distributor (400) sec. 139.34 none 2 years Wisconsin jobber (401) sec. 139.34 none 2 years Wisconsin multiple retailer (402) sec. 139.34 none 2 years Wisconsin vendor (403) sec. 139.34 none 2 years Wisconsin cigarette warehouse (404) sec. 139.34 none 2 years Out of state distributor (407) sec. 139.34 none 2 years Out of state jobber (408) sec. 139.34 none 2 years Out of state multiple retailer (409) sec. 139.34 none 2 years Out of state vendor (410) sec. 139.34 none 2 years Manufacturer (412) sec. 139.34 none 2 years Importer (413) sec. 139.34 none 2 years Wisconsin and out of state cigarette salespersons sec. 139.37 none 2 years

    If you are a permittee or retailer and purchased cigarettes from sources that do not hold a permit with DOR, our Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement Unit may confiscate the cigarettes secs. 139.321(2) and 139.40, Wis. Stats. .

    • Security required
      • Security is required (e.g., cash, bond) from cigarette distributors who do not file their monthly returns and/or do not pay the cigarette tax due in a timely manner.
      • The Secretary of Revenue will determine the amount of security required sec. 139.322, Wis. Stats. .
  • Who pays the cigarette tax?

    Cigarette distributors must pay the cigarette tax. They are required to purchase tax stamps from DOR and apply a stamp to each pack of cigarettes.

    How to purchase cigarette tax stamps
    A cigarette distributor can purchase stamps on credit or COD. To purchase stamps on credit a distributor must have enough security on file to cover their stamp purchase amount and must submit payment along with their monthly cigarette tax returns on or before the 15th day after the month they receive the stamps. A cigarette distributor who purchases stamps on COD must pay for the stamps prior to being issued the stamps by DOR.

    Discount plus printing and Shipping Charges sec. 139.32, Wis. Stats.

    • As a distributor, you receive a 0.7% tax discount when you purchase stamps to help offset the costs you incur when you apply the stamps to packs of cigarettes sec. 139.32(5), Wis. Stats. .
    • As a distributor, you are responsible for the costs associated with printing and shipping the stamps sec. 139.32(5m), Wis. Stats. .
    • If you have questions about stamps, call (608) 266 3282.
    • NOTE You cannot order cigarette stamps by phone.

    Cigarette use tax secs. 139.321 and 139.33, Wis. Stats.

    • Only cigarette distributors licensed by DOR, are allowed to bring cigarettes into Wisconsin when the Wisconsin cigarette tax has not been paid.
    • To show the tax was paid, a distributor must apply the cigarette tax stamp to all packs of cigarettes to be sold in Wisconsin.
    • Cigarettes brought into Wisconsin that are not stamped with a Wisconsin cigarette tax stamp (this includes cigarettes stamped with another state’s tax stamp) are untaxed cigarettes.
  • Who pays the cigarette use tax?

    Persons other than cigarette distributors who bring untaxed cigarettes into Wisconsin (this includes cigarettes stamped with another state’s tax stamp) must pay a use tax on the cigarettes.

    • These persons must contact the Department of Revenue in writing within 15 days of bringing in untaxed cigarettes declaring the number of cigarettes brought in and remitting the use tax due (see Form CT 121s).
    • The use tax rate is the same rate as the Wisconsin cigarette tax (see question #4).
    • If the use tax is not paid when due, we charge delinquent interest of 1.5% of the amount of use tax due per month. We may also charge a penalty of $25 per each 200 cigarettes (1 carton).
    • A Wisconsin Combined Cigarette Use Tax and Sales and Use Return, Form CT 121s may be printed from our website.


    • Members of the Armed Forces of the United States are not required to report and pay the use tax on cigarettes issued to them by the federal government or purchased in any Armed Forces Post Exchange or service store.
    • Cigarettes sold to state or federally operated veterans’ hospitals are also not subject to the use tax.
  • How do I pay the cigarette tax?

    You must pay your taxes by electronic funds transfer (EFT) if your liability was more than $1,000 in the previous calendar year. For more information, visit the Electronic Funds Transfer page or call (608) 264 9918.

    Your tax liability is determined and paid based on one of the following returns sec. 139.38, Wis. Stats. .

    There are three types of cigarette tax returns

    1. Wisconsin Distributor’s Cigarette Tax Return, Form CT 100.
    2. Wisconsin Distributor’s Cigarette Tax Return Out of State Permittees, Form CT 105.
    3. Quarterly Report of Wisconsin Tax Paid Cigarettes Purchased, Form CT 114 (informational report, no tax due).
  • How do distributors report and pay for a cigarette stamp order that is different from what they actually received?

    If you did not receive all of the cigarette stamps ordered, report your order as invoiced by the Department of Revenue (DOR) on Form CT 104, Monthly Schedule of Purchases and Ending Inventory of Unaffixed Wisconsin Cigarette Stamps, and

    • Report the purchase on lines 2 18.
    • Complete an affidavit for the missing stamps and obtain witness signatures.
    • Attach affidavit to Form CT 104.
    • Deduct the lost, stolen, or missing cigarette stamps on line 21 of Form CT 104.

    As a distributor, you are liable for the cigarette tax on lost, stolen, or missing stamps. If you find errors with your order, you should

    • Call the Wisconsin Department of Revenue immediately with any discrepancy you find in your stamp order. Contact us at (608) 266 6701.
    • If the carrier doesn’t have documentation on the order weight, weigh the order when you re
      ceive it, and note any discrepancies, visual defects, etc.
    • Keep all packaging and make sure the order is untouched until you are notified that DOR released it.
    • Take photos and document the names of all personnel who had contact with the stamp order from the time you received the order.

    If you received more cigarette stamps than you ordered, contact DOR at (608) 266 6701 for further instructions.

    1. How do I file my cigarette return?

      You are required to file all cigarette tax reports and returns electronically. For more information, visit our cigarettes and tobacco products web page at

    2. What should I do if filing electronically causes a hardship?

      If you feel filing electronically causes you a hardship, you must request a waiver. If the Secretary of Revenue determines the requirement causes a hardship, the Secretary may waive your requirement to file electronically.

      To request a waiver, you must

      • Request the waiver in writing. Mail your written request to

        Mandate Waiver Request 5 77
        Wisconsin Department of Revenue
        PO Box 8949
        Madison, Wisconsin

      • Clearly state why the requirement causes a hardship.
      • The Secretary of Revenue may consider the following factors when deciding if this requirement causes a hardship
        1. An unusual circumstance that may prevent you from filing electronically.
          Example You do not have access to a computer connected to the internet.
        2. Any other factor the Secretary determines is relevant.
      • If you have any questions, contact us at (608) 266 6701.
    3. When are cigarette returns due?

      All cigarette returns are due by the 15th day of the month following the period covered by the return sec. 139.38(2), Wis. Stats. . Example a return for October is due November 15.

      If a return is filed late, you will be charged

      • A $10 late filing fee sec. 139.38(5), Wis. Stats. .
      • A 5 to 25% late return penalty.
    4. Are any cigarettes exempt from the cigarette tax?

      Yes. The following are exempt from the Wisconsin cigarette tax sec. 139.31(3), Wis. Stats.

      • Cigarettes shipped by interstate commerce to customers in other states for sale outside Wisconsin.
      • Cigarettes sold to the Armed Forces (e.g., Fort McCoy, Coast Guard stations, etc.) or state or federally operated veterans’ hospitals.
      • Cigarettes sold to interstate carriers of passengers for hire to be resold to bona fide passengers being transported.
    5. Is an excise tax imposed on electronic cigarettes (E Cigarettes) in Wisconsin?

      No, electronic cigarettes (E Cigarettes) and other accessories (e.g. lighters, pipes, pipe cleaners, tubes, etc.) that do not include tobacco do not fall under Wisconsin’s cigarette or tobacco product tax statutes and therefore are not subject to Wisconsin excise tax or permits requirements.

      Note 2011 Wis. Act 249 prohibits the trafficking in “nicotine products” to persons under 18 years of age. Per s. 134.66(1)(f)3, this would include “electronic” cigarettes since they contain nicotine.

    6. Will the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) refund any cigarette taxes I paid?

      Yes, there are situations where a distributor or a Native American Tribe may be entitled to a refund

      1. Distributor Refunds sec. 139.36, Wis. Stats.
        Licensed cigarette distributors may file Form CT 624 to obtain the following refunds
        • Unsalable cigarettes If you are a cigarette distributor and return packs of unsalable cigarettes to the manufacturer, you can receive a refund of the Wisconsin stamps tax you paid for the Wisconsin stamps affixed to those packs. You must complete a Wisconsin Form CT 624 and include verification from the manufacturer of the returned cigarettes.
        • Unaffixed stamps We do not issue refunds to distributors who have ordered too many stamps in error for their use. However, a distributor may be entitled to a refund of the tax paid.
          1. For Wisconsin stamps not affixed to packs of cigarettes which are returned to the Department of Revenue (DOR) if the distributor is selling or closing their business.
          2. For tribal stamps not affixed to packs of cigarettes which are returned to DOR by a distributor who no longer sells cigarettes to Native American tribes.
      2. Native American Tribal Refunds
        If your Tribe entered into agreements with the State of Wisconsin, your tribe is eligible for two differnt types of refunds
        • 30% refund the tribal council can receive a 30% refund of the cigarette tax paid for cigarettes sold by authorized retailers to enrolled tribal members living on the reservation or trust land over which the tribe has jurisdiction. The land must have been designated a reservation or trust land on or before January 1, 1983, or on a later date as determined by an agreement between DOR and the tribal council. The tribe must send the refund claim to DOR at the end of each quarter sec. 139.325, Wis. Stats., and sec. Tax 9.08, Wis. Admin. Code .
        • 70% refund the tribal council can receive a 70% refund of the cigarette tax paid on cigarettes, sold by authorized retailers on reservation or trust land, over which your tribe has jurisdiction. The land must have been designated a reservation or trust land on or before January 1, 1983, or on a later date as determined by an agreement between DOR and the tribal council. A tribe may file no more than two refund claims (Form CT 001) within a calendar month sec. 139.323, Wis. Stats., and sec. Tax 9.08, Wis. Adm. Code .
    7. How do I correct a cigarette return that I already filed?
      • You must electronically file an amended return. You are required to electronically file all cigarette tax reports, returns and amended returns, with the Department of Revenue (see question #10).
      • If you are filing an amended cigarette tax return, you must file a true, corrected and complete return. The amended return must include all previously reported unchanged transactions as well as the corrected information.
      • Do not file a return that only reports the changes.
    8. If I file an incorrect cigarette return, will I have to pay interest or penalties?

      Yes. If you file an incorrect cigarette tax return, you will

      • Be charged 12% interest per year on any additional taxes due sec. 139.44(9), Wis. Stats. .
      • Be charged a 25% negligence penalty on any additional tax due if DOR can show negligence in the filing of the original return sec. 139.44(9), Wis. Stats. .
      • Receive 3% interest per year on any refund issued sec. 139.44(9), Wis. Stats. .
    9. Should I notify the Department of Revenue (DOR) if the business changes its name, address, or ownership or if the business no longer operates in Wisconsin?

      Yes. You must notify DOR immediately when your business has any change to its name, address, or ownership or when the business stops operating in Wisconsin.

      • You must inform us in writing of any changes. You may do this by letter, email or by attaching a note to your return.
      • If your name or ownership changes and you receive a new Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), you must cancel your current permit/license and file an application for a new permit/license with DOR. You will also be required to update your security with DOR.
      • When you cease operations, you must file a cigarette return for the last period of operations even if you were in business only a few days during that period. You must continue to file a report until you have
        completely depleted your inventories of cigarettes and/or stamps.
      • If you have any questions about your cigarette tax permit, contact us at (608) 266 6701.
    10. What records should I keep for Wisconsin tax purposes, and how long should I keep them?
      • You must keep a complete copy of your cigarette returns and business records for at least five years so DOR employees can verify your tax liabilities and your compliance with Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) requirements secs. 139.38(1), 139.39(6), and 995.12, Wis. Stats. .
      • Required records include, but are not limited to purchase and sales receipts (whether taxable or exempt), and inventory, distribution, and product consumption records.
      • You must maintain organized records in a format and place available for review by DOR during reasonable hours, including all business hours.
      • If you do not maintain adequately your records, all the products you purchase or receive are subject to tax without benefit of any deductions.
    11. How can I get additional information or forms about the cigarette tax?

      E-cigarettes could become ‘medicines’ available on nhs

      Snopes.com: marijuana in lucky strike

      E cigarettes could be available on the NHS by the end of the year with at least two companies one a subsidiary of British American Tobacco having already embarked on the process of obtaining licences from the medicines regulator.

      The UK company Nicolites said its application was “well advanced” while BAT’s Nicoventures has also started the process, although decisions on whether their products are prescribed on the NHS will be made by local commissioning groups.

      The status of “medicines” will give the companies commercial advantage and allow the e cigarette makers to market their product internationally, including in sponsorship deals, a move that will be banned for competitors not in the same bracket.

      The news came to light as ministers in England prepare to ban the sale of e cigarettes to under 18s Wales and Scotland are likely to follow suit.

      The Committees of Advertising Practice are also about to launch a consultation on new rules to cover e cigarettes, used by 1.3 million people in Britain last year. It will start later this month, with the framework likely to be in place by autumn, nearly two years after the first TV adverts for such products.

      The applications to the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority are a victory for the regulator’s determination to persuade manufacturers and importers to apply voluntarily for a licence and meet specific rules including on the amount of nicotine provided. They are continuing the process even though the European parliament defeated UK attempts to make medicinal licensing compulsory for e cigarettes last autumn,.

      Existing anti smoking therapies such as gums, patches, an inhaler, and a mouthspray already have medicine licences and have been endorsed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which advises on good practice and value for money. Nearly 1.4m prescriptions for them were issued in England in 2012, but licensed e cigarettes would not need a separate Nice assessment.

      Nikhil Nathwani, managing director of Nicolites, said the company was “well advanced in the product’s licencing” and hoped to achieve marketing authorisation some time this year. It was working closely with the government, the regulator and Nice. “This will be continued even after marketing authorisation has been achieved”, he said. Nicoventures has also made a licence application for a nicotine inhalation device to the MHRA.

      A spokesman for BAT, which already has a standard e cigarette brand, Vype, on sale in Britain, said the company would like to see “a regulatory approach that puts consumer safety and product quality first, while allowing the appropriate level of innovation, marketing and distribution freedoms to allow this important new product category to grow.”

      A spokesperson for Njoy, a big US cigarette company, which has also endorsed MHRA regulation, could not say whether an application was in progress, when contacted.

      The readiness of big e cigarette players to go down the voluntary route for the expensive process of medicines approval is in sharp contrast to the position of the UK trade body for e cigarettes, Ecita, which has railed against the over regulation it claims will be introduced EU wide.

      E cigarettes classed only as consumer products from 2016 will have to carry health warnings that nicotine is highly addictive. The draft EU directive, which has still to complete its legislative process in the coming months also contains new curbs on tobacco including health warnings covering nearly two thirds of cigarette packs.

      This article was amended on 3 February 2014 because it is the Committees of Advertising Practice who are launching a consultation on new rules to cover advertising e cigarettes, not the Advertising Standards Agency as the original said.