Any business that sells cigarettes at wholesale in Idaho and delivery sellers must have a cigarette tax permit and file monthly cigarette tax returns.
Cigarettes come in different sized packs, so the tax is based on the single cigarette or stick. The current cigarette tax rate is .0285 cents per stick. Therefore, the tax is 57 cents for a standard pack of 20 cigarettes. The Idaho cigarette tax began in 1945 and has changed as follows:
|Year||Rate per 20-pack||Per cigarette (stick rate)|
Cigarette tax applies only to cigarettes, which are defined by the wrapping material. If the wrapper is made of mostly paper or a material other than tobacco, it's considered a cigarette for tax purposes. Tobacco tax, which is taxed at a different rate, is imposed on all other tobacco products, whether smoked, chewed, or snuffed.
- Cigarette Tax Bond (04-15-2008)
- CG-403 Request for Cigarette Stamp Destruction (06-06-2008)
- CIG Idaho Cigarette and Tobacco Tax Permit Application (06-02-2011)
- Full list of cigarette tax forms and all required schedules »
The Form 1550, Idaho Cigarette Tax Return, is due on the 20th of the month following the tax period (eg. October's return is due November 20). Personalized copies of Form 1550 are mailed to account owners and aren't available on our website. If you've misplaced your paper returns, you can request reprints by contacting Taxpayer Services at (208) 334-7660 in the Boise area or toll free at (800) 972-7660. Form 1550 instructions and all required schedules are available on this website.
Use Form CIG to apply for an Idaho cigarette or tobacco tax permit. Neither permit is transferable. You can download Form CIG and mail the application to the Idaho State Tax Commission, Attn: Permit Accounting Services, PO Box 36, Boise ID 83722-3220 or fax it to (208) 334-7560. You should receive your permit within four weeks.
Cigarettes bought over the Internet, over the phone, or from mail-order catalogs generally don't have Idaho tax stamps on the bottom of the packages and are considered unstamped. The penalty for having, buying, or using more than 10 packs of unstamped cigarettes is three times the cigarette tax due for each full or partial pack. The minimum penalty is $50.
When you buy cigarettes over the Internet, over the phone, or from mail-order catalogs, you're generally not charged Idaho sales tax. In that case, you owe Idaho use tax. Use tax is a tax on the purchase of goods that you put to use or store in Idaho. To pay the use tax, fill out Form 850-U.
The Attorney General's Office (AG) keeps a list of all cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco that comply with Idaho's Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) Act and MSA Complementary Acts. You can get this list, called the Idaho Directory of Compliant Tobacco Product Manufacturers and Brand Families (Directory), from the AG's website. The AG sends email (or U.S. mail) notifications of changes to the Directory and provides 10 days advance notice before removing brands from the Directory. To be added to the distribution list for updates, please call the AG's Office at (208) 334-2424 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your email (or street) address.
There are three ways cigarettes can be classified as illegal in Idaho:
- Unlisted Product. The brand isn't listed on or has been removed from the Directory maintained by the Attorney General's Office.
- No Idaho Tax Stamp. The Idaho tax stamp on the bottom of the package indicates that the correct cigarette tax was paid. In general, if you have more than 10 packs of cigarettes that don't have an Idaho tax stamp, the cigarettes can be seized or a penalty can be assessed against you. Some exceptions apply if you're an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe living on a reservation.
- Counterfeit Cigarettes. These are cigarettes that appear to be the product of a well-known manufacturer but are actually imitations.
The state has the authority to seize illegal cigarettes. However, the Tax Commission understands it can be difficult to keep up with the requirements of all agencies that regulate cigarettes and other tobacco products in Idaho. If you violate the law, we'll make every effort to work with you to resolve your issue. In many cases, you can voluntarily turn over illegal cigarettes to the Tax Commission.
If you sell cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, you must follow the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act. This federal law went into effect July 1, 2010, and requires you to register with Idaho, submit monthly reports, and meet certain requirements. See our PACT Act Web page for details.
- Cigarette Tax Law Chapter 25: Cigarettes and Tobacco Products Taxes
- Cigarette Tax Rules [PDF]
- Any proposed or temporary rules can be seen through this page.
The Idaho State Tax Commission collects and enforces cigarette and tobacco taxes. The Idaho Attorney General's Office ensures that tobacco manufacturers comply with Idaho's MSA Act and MSA Complementary Act. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare regulates retail sales of tobacco products. The State Fire Marshal manages Idaho's Fire Standard Compliant (FSC) cigarette program. The U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Attorney General, and many tribal governments also regulate tobacco in Idaho.