TO MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENTS
WHO PURCHASE CIGARETTES FROM INTERNET RETAILERS
Internet cigarette retailers sell cigarettes in packs that do not bear the Massachusetts excise stamp. These cigarettes are considered "unstamped cigarettes" under Massachusetts law. The purchase of unstamped cigarettes can lead to serious penalties.
The federal Jenkins Act requires out-of-state Internet retailers selling cigarettes to Massachusetts customers to register with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue and to report information regarding each sale, including the name and address of the customer, in order to assist the Department of Revenue in the collection of outstanding cigarette excises. 15 U.S.C. '375, et seq. To the extent that Internet retailers do not comply with the Jenkins Act, the Department of Revenue may utilize other sources (e.g., shipment records) to identify Massachusetts customers who have purchased unstamped cigarettes.
The Massachusetts cigarette excise is $35.10 per carton. If cigarettes purchased by a Massachusetts customer do not bear the Massachusetts excise stamp on the pack, then the Department of Revenue requires the customer to file Form CT-11B and to pay the outstanding excise amount, plus applicable penalties and interest. Please be advised that failure to file Form CT-11B may result in the Department of Revenue issuing a bill for the excise, interest, and penalties.
It is illegal for Massachusetts residents to possess cigarettes if the cigarette packs do not bear the Massachusetts excise stamp. Unlawful possession of unstamped cigarettes may be subject to civil penalties of up to $5,000, and criminal penalties of up to 5 years imprisonment and up to a $5,000 fine. G.L. c. 64C, '35.