114.1. Cigarette Excise

114.1: Cigarette Excise: G.L. c. 64C

            1.  Filing Requirements for Licensees

            All sellers of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco must be licensed.  File Form CTL for all cigarette licenses except a retailer's license.  To apply for a retailer's license, use Form CT-RL.  Retailers may apply on line for a cigarette license through Web File for Business (WFB) at  Wholesalers must file three affidavits from licensed manufacturers with Form CTL stating that they will sell cigarettes to the applicant. 

            Vending machine operators must also affix decal licenses valid for two fiscal years to all cigarette vending machines.  To apply for decals, file Form CTL and Form CTL-1.  Vending machine operators must file Form CTL to apply for a license initially as well as every year no later than July 1 and apply for decal renewal on Form CTL-1 in even years only.  Decals expire on September 30 of even years.  

Note:  Smokeless tobacco and “little cigars” are defined as “cigarettes” for purposes of the cigarette excise.   See TIR 08-9.  Rolls of tobacco wrapped in leaf tobacco or in any substance containing tobacco and as to which 1,000 units weigh not more than three pounds are “little cigars.”  

See TIR 08-16 and TIR 08-17 for information relating to cigar and smoking tobacco retailers and cigar and smoking tobacco distributors.

            The following classes of licensees must file returns with the Department:

1. Cigarette wholesalers, vending machine operators, unclassified acquirers and manufacturers who purchase directly from a cigarette manufacturer: (See “Stamps/Payment” below)

2.  Cigarette Wholesalers who do not purchase directly from the manufacturer

3.  Vending Machine Operators who do not purchase directly from the manufacturer

4.  Other persons authorized by the Commissioner to sell unstamped cigarettes

5.   Transportation Companies

6.  Wholesalers who sell only smokeless tobacco
CT-1 or CTS-1NR/monthly

Form CT-10/monthly

Form CT-10/monthly

Form CTS-8B/monthly

Form CTS -8B/monthly

Form CTS -8B/monthly

            Stamps/Payment: Stamps must be ordered on line directly from the stamp manufacturer.  Payments must be made to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts via electronic fund transfer.  Smokeless tobacco is not stamped. 

            Billing:  Cigarette stampers have thirty (30) days to pay for the stamps if the stamper has posted either a bond or other such surety or a bond of the Commonwealth or of the U.S. that is equal to the amount of the credit desired.  If the stamper fails to pay, DOR will bill the stamper.  The bill will be for the gross amount due, i.e., compensation to the stamper will be disallowed.  The bill will be sent to the stamper before any attempt is made to collect on the bond.  No stamper can buy stamps until all outstanding bills are paid.

            Filing Requirements: Resident cigarette stampers file Form CT-1; non‑resident stampers file Form CTS-1NR.  Forms CT-1 and CTS-1NR must be filed on or before the twentieth (20th) day of each month for the previous month.  If unstamped cigarettes were sold during the previous month by unclassified acquirers, transportation companies or manufacturers, Form CTS-8B must be filed in the same manner.  For filing requirements for smokeless tobacco, see the table above.

            Compensation: Effective for stamps purchased on or after January 1, 2012, the stamper compensation is as follows: 

(1) for encrypted stamps,

(a) $12.00 per roll of 1,200 stamps; and

(b) in each fiscal year, $600.00 per roll of 30,000 stamps for the first fifty (50) rolls purchased and $200.00 per roll for each additional roll of 30,000 stamps purchased; and

  1. (2) for non-encrypted, adhesive stamps, $1.85 for each 600 stamps purchased and a proportionate amount for any fraction thereof.

                Massachusetts cigarette stamps are now required to be encrypted.  Non-encrypted, adhesive stamps are being phased out and will only be sold by the Cigarette and Tobacco Excise Unit in an emergency as determined by the Unit.

                Rate of Tax: As of July 31, 2013, the rate of tax is $3.51 per pack of twenty and $4.3875 per pack of twenty five.  See TIR 13-15.  The rate of tax on smokeless tobacco is 210% of the purchase price paid by the licensee.

                Exemptions: Sales of cigarettes to the Federal government and cigarettes shipped out of Massachusetts are exempt from tax and need not be stamped.
                Interest and Penalties: See Administrative Procedure 612 and TIR 99-18. 

                Extensions of Time to File: See Administrative Procedure 604.

                Amended Returns: No special form is required to amend a return.  Write "amended" on the regular return.

                Refunds/Abatements: The tax paid for unsold stamped cigarettes or unapplied or misapplied stamps may be refunded.  Submit an Application for Abatement/Amended Return, Form CA-6, to the Customer Service Bureau (617-887-6367) at 200 Arlington Street, Chelsea, MA 02150.  The unapplied or misapplied stamps must be returned to the Department.  The unsold stamped cigarettes must be returned to the cigarette manufacturer, who must execute an affidavit stating that they have been returned to the manufacturer.  Attach the affidavit to Form CA-6.

                Cigarette stampers may also use Form CA-6 to apply for an abatement of tax paid with a cigarette and smokeless excise return.  Abatements are also handled by the Customer Service Bureau (617-887-6763).

                Changing Information or Status: Changes must be submitted in writing to the address given below.

                2.  Filing Requirement of Persons Purchasing Cigarettes in Interstate Commerce for Which the Massachusetts Cigarette Excise Has Not Been Paid

                Massachusetts residents and entities are required to pay the cigarette excise upon all cigarettes that they acquire from any source that do not already bear a Massachusetts excise stamp.  Massachusetts residents are required to file with the Commissioner Form CT-11B, “Non-stamper Cigarette Excise Return”, on a quarterly basis if they have purchased packs of cigarettes that are either unstamped or stamped by another state or jurisdiction.  The return is required to be filed for quarterly periods ending on March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31.  Each completed, signed and dated quarterly return, along with payment in full of the excise owed, must be received not later than the twentieth day of the month following the end of each calendar quarter in which purchases of cigarettes, bearing no Massachusetts excise stamp from any source, were made.  Residents claiming credits for cigarette taxes paid to another state must furnish proof of payment of such excise with the return.  See Department Directive 02-14 which can be found at or contact the Cigarette and Tobacco Excise Unit at 617-887-5090.

    As of the date of the publication of this Administrative Procedure, the mailing address of the Cigarette and Tobacco Excise Unit is

    Massachusetts Department of Revenue
    Cigarette and Tobacco Excise Unit
    P.O. Box 7004
    Boston, MA 02204

    G.L. c. 64C
    TIR 99-18
    TIR 08-7
    TIR 08-9
    TIR 08-16
    TIR 08-17
    TIR 13-15
    DD 02-14
    AP 604, Extension of Time to File Tax Return
    AP 612, Interest and Penalties
    Form CA-6, Application for Abatement – Amended Return
    Form CT-1, Resident Stamper’s Monthly Return
    Form CT-10, Cigarette Excise Return
    Form CT-11B, Non-Stamper Cigarette Excise Return (for transactions occurring on or after July 1, 2008)
    Form CTL, Application and Instruction for Cigarette Licenses
    Form CTL-1, Cigarette Vending Machine Locations  
    Form CT-RL, Application for Tobacco Retailer License
    Form CTS-1NR, Nonresident Stamper’s Monthly Return
    Form CTS-8B, Return of Untaxed Cigarette, Smokeless Tobacco, Cigar and Smoking Tobacco Sales or  Consumption (for transactions occurring on or after July 1, 2008)