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Cigarette Tax | File
Cigarettes are taxed differently from other tangible personal property/products purchased and sold in Colorado.
Cigarette Wholesaler (also called a Distributor)
The cigarette excise tax in Colorado is 4.2 cents per cigarette and is represented by a $0.84 or $1.05 stamp depending on the number of cigarettes in the pack. The wholesaler affixes the tax stamp on each pack of cigarettes sold. The stamp indicates to the retailer and consumer that cigarette excise taxes have been paid.
If the cigarettes are Non-Participating Manufacturers (NPM), the distributor must file the
Licensed Distributor Reporting Form for Cigarette sales of Non-Participating Manufacturer Brands (DR 1285)
. Stamped and unstamped
may be transferred between instate wholesalers. Cigarette
may not be transferred or sold between wholesalers.
Cigarette stamps are available to licensed wholesalers (see
Cigarette Tax | Account
) from the Department of Revenue in 20 cigarettes per stamp rolls, wide 20 count rolls, 20 count sheets and 25 cigarette per stamp rolls. Cigarette stamps may be obtained by a licensed distributor in person from the Department of Revenue at 1375 Sherman St. Denver, CO 80203. To order cigarette stamps call the Department of Revenue at 303-866-2570.
Shipping of cigarette tax stamps must be paid by the distributor.
The distributor must provide to the department the distributor’s carrier of choice and the distributor’s account number for the carrier.
The department will include a “Cigarette Tax Shipment Advice” along with each order of cigarette tax stamps. It should be retained because the information on it will be used in completing the cigarette tax return.
Payment of the cigarette tax
is due on the 10th of the month following the month in which the stamps were ordered. For example, any stamps ordered between July 1 and July 31, the payment is due on August 10.
Every pack of cigarettes sold to consumers in Colorado must have a Colorado cigarette stamp affixed to the bottom of the pack; this includes cigarettes ordered by telephone, mail, or online.
The stamp should clearly indicate "State of Colorado.” Cigarettes that do not have a stamp affixed are contraband (illegal). It is unlawful for any person, firm, limited liability company, partnership or corporation to import cigarettes into Colorado for sale or resale without obtaining a license or without first affixing the proper stamp to each package of cigarettes. Unstamped cigarettes not in the possession of a licensed cigarette wholesaler are subject to seizure at any place in Colorado and should not be sold to a consumer.
A penalty of twenty-five (25) cents per cigarette will be imposed upon any unstamped cigarettes, either purchased or possessed.
What forms is the wholesaler/distributor required to file?
Wholesalers/distributors must file a
Colorado Cigarette Tax Return (DR 0221)
monthly. The Department of Revenue will mail pre-printed returns each month. Failure to receive the tax return does not relieve distributors from their legal responsibility to file by the due date. If a return is not received, the distributor should notify the department
or at 303-205-8211, ext. 6877.
Distributors must provide their gross purchases on the cigarette return and will be allowed a .9524 percent discount of the total gross purchases if the return and the EFT payment are received by the due date. The discount on returned stamps is claimed on the Colorado Cigarette Tax Return and is part of the calculation to arrive at the amount of tax you will pay.
The return must be filed and the payment, required to be made by
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
, must be made on or before the 10th day of the month following the reporting month. Distributors must file a return even if no tax is due for that month.
Master Settlement Agreement Reporting
Certified Brands and Manufacturers Directory (Cigarette and Roll-Your-Own Tobacco)
Certified Brands and Manufacturers Directory
(Cigarette and Roll-Your-Own Tobacco)
Cigarette Wholesale Subcontractor
Cigarette Wholesale Subcontractors are not required to file a tax return.
A Cigarette Wholesale Subcontractor is required to send in a letter of intent to purchase Participating Manufacturer and/or Non-Participating Manufacturer (PM/NPM) cigarettes. They are also required to file information annually on the
Certificate for Exemption MSA/Non-Participating Manufacturer Brands (DR 1286)
to renew the Wholesale Subcontractor license.
To purchase stamped cigarettes from a licensed wholesaler for resale to the consumer, a retailer is required to provide a copy of their retail sales tax license to the wholesaler.
Lists of Licensed Distributors
are updated by the department each week.
Retailers must charge the state sales tax on all retail sales of cigarettes and file a Colorado sales tax return. Beginning January 1, 2014 retailers in the regional transportation district (RTD) and the scientific and cultural facilities district (SCFD) must charge the RTD and/or SCFD special district sales tax on all retail sales of cigarettes. Otherwise, cigarettes are exempt from city and county sales tax and from other special district sales tax. Businesses are required to account for RTD, SCFD, and state sales tax on cigarettes on the
Colorado Retail Sales Tax Return (DR 0100)
Instructions and Forms
Cigarette Tax Instructions and Forms
Disagree with a Billing Notice
Taxpayers who disagree with the balance due notice have the right to protest the amount due. The protest must be filed within 30 days from the date of the notice. Refer to your correspondence for any specific documentation required.
File a Protest By Mail:
Colorado Department of Revenue
Protest Section Room 237
PO BOX 17087
Denver, CO 80217-0087