Any person or entity engaged in business in California who intends to sell or lease tangible personal property that would ordinarily be subject to sales tax if sold at retail must first obtain a California Sellers Permit by applying electronically at the BOE’s e-filing website (https://efile.boe.ca.gov/ereg/index.boe) or in person at the nearest BOE office.
Every distributor and wholesaler of tobacco products must then obtain a California Tobacco Products Distributor License at least 30 days before purchasing untaxed tobacco products from an out-of-state seller or purchasing tax-paid tobacco products for resale to other retailers. Distributor Licenses may be obtained by registering and submitting the appropriate application at the BOE’s e-filing website (https://efile.boe.ca.gov/ereg/index.boe) and paying an annual registration fee of $1,200 per business location. Distributor Licenses are valid for one calendar year and must be renewed electronically every year.
Every tobacco products manufacturer or importer must obtain a California Manufacturer/Importer Tobacco Products License at least 30 days before commencing business. Manufacturer/Importer Licenses may be obtained by registering and submitting the appropriate application at the BOE’s e-filing website (https://efile.boe.ca.gov/ereg/index.boe) and paying a one-time registration fee in an amount that depends on the products to be manufactured or imported ($10,000 for only chewing tobacco or snuff; $2,000 for only tobacco products excluding chewing tobacco or snuff; $10,000 for chewing tobacco, snuff, and other tobacco products). Manufacturer/Importer Licenses are valid for one calendar year and must be renewed electronically every year.
Retail sellers of tobacco products in California must obtain a California Cigarette and Tobacco Products Retailer License prior to purchasing tax-paid products from California Licensed Distributors or Wholesalers and prior to making retail sales of tobacco products to consumers. A separate license is required for each location or vending machine from which tobacco products are sold at retail. Retailer Licenses may be obtained by registering and submitting the appropriate application at the BOE’s e-filing website (https://efile.boe.ca.gov/ereg/index.boe). Retailer Licenses are valid for one calendar year and must be renewed electronically every year.
Effective July 1, 2016, a fee of $265 is to be submitted with each license application for manufacturers, importers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers of cigarettes and tobacco products. For calendar years beginning on and after January 1, 2016, every retailer must file an application for renewal of a retailer’s license accompanied with by a fee of $265 per retail location. Additionally, the licensing fees for every wholesaler and distributor who commences business selling or distributing cigarettes or tobacco products, or who commences doing so at a new of different place of business in the state is raised to $1,200. California 2015 A.B. X2 11
Each distributor of tobacco products must file a Tobacco Products Distributor Tax Return (Form BOE-501-CT) with the BOE on or before the 25th day of each month, along with payment for taxes due. Everyone who purchases untaxed tobacco products must file a Cigarette and Tobacco Products Excise Tax Return (Form BOE-501-CI) on or before the last day of the month following the quarter in which the product was received, along with payment for taxes due.
Tobacco products manufacturers or imports must file a Tobacco Products Manufacturer/Importer Return of Taxable Distribution of Samples in California (Form BOE-501-TIM) on or before the 25th day of the month following the month during which samples were distributed, along with payment for taxes due. Manufacturer or importer of tobacco products must attach to their return a Manufacturer/Importer Report of Tobacco Products Delivered or Shipped into California (Form BOE-501-MIT).
Licensed retail or wholesale tobacco shops and private smokers’ lounges are exempt from the ban on smoking.
“Private smokers’ lounge” means any enclosed area in or attached to a retail or wholesale tobacco shop that is dedicated to the use of tobacco products, including, but not limited to, cigars and pipes.
“Retail or wholesale tobacco shop” means any business establishment the main purpose of which is the sale of tobacco products, including, but not limited to, cigars, pipe tobacco, and smoking accessories.