Illinois Department of Revenue
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Fuel Division (217) 782-6045
Taxation in Illinois
Illinois’s Tobacco Products Tax Act of 1995 imposes a tax on tobacco products purchased for sale in the state by any person engaged in the business of a tobacco products distributor. Out-of-state distributors must pay this tax if they sell tobacco products to Illinois retailers or consumers. However, purchases of tobacco products by wholesalers who will not sell the product at retail or who will deliver the products outside of Illinois are exempt from the tax.
The state tobacco products tax is in addition to all other occupation or privilege taxes imposed by any political subdivision of Illinois or by any municipal corporation.
The tobacco products tax is 36% of the wholesale price of tobacco products sold or otherwise disposed of to retailers or consumers located in the state, except that the tax on moist snuff is $0.30 per ounce and the tax on little cigars is the same rate as the tax imposed on cigarettes and must be paid by purchasing tax stamps.
“Tobacco products” means any cigars, including little cigars; cheroots; stogies; periques; granulated, plug cut, crimp cut, ready rubbed, and other smoking tobacco; snuff (including moist snuff) or snuff flour; cavendish; plug and twist tobacco; fine-cut and other chewing tobaccos; shorts; refuse scraps, clippings, cuttings, and sweeping of tobacco; and other kinds and forms of tobacco, prepared in such manner as to be suitable for chewing or smoking in a pipe or otherwise, or both for chewing and smoking. This definition does not include cigarettes.
“Moist snuff” means any finely cut, ground, or powdered tobacco that is not intended to be smoked, but does not include any finely cut, ground, or powdered tobacco that is intended to be placed in the nasal cavity.
“Little cigar” means and includes any roll, made wholly or in part of tobacco, where such roll has an integrated cellulose acetate filter and weighs less than 4 pounds per thousand, the wrapper or cover of which is made in whole or in part of tobacco.
Any manufacturer or wholesaler in the state who sells, exchanges, or distributes tobacco products to retailers or consumers in the state.
Any manufacturer or wholesaler out of the state who sells, exchanges, distributes, ships, or transports tobacco products to retailers or consumers located in the state, if the manufacturer or wholesaler has contacts with the state in the form of a place of business or a permanent or temporary agent.
Any retailer who receives tobacco products on which the tax has not been or will not be paid by another distributor.
“Retail tobacco store” means a retail establishment that derives more than 80% of its gross revenue from the sale of loose tobacco, plants, or herbs and cigars, cigarettes, pipes, and other smoking devices for burning tobacco and related smoking accessories and in which the sale of other products is merely incidental. “Retail tobacco store” includes an enclosed workplace that manufactures, imports, or distributes tobacco or tobacco products, when, as a necessary and integral part of the process of making, manufacturing, importing, or distributing a tobacco product for the eventual retail sale of that tobacco or tobacco product, tobacco is heated, burned, or smoked, or a lighted tobacco product is tested, provided that the involved business entity:
maintains a specially designated area or areas within the workplace for the purpose of the heating, burning, smoking, or lighting activities, and does not create a facility that permits smoking throughout;
satisfies the 80% requirement related to gross sales; and (3) delivers tobacco products to consumers, retail establishments, or other wholesale establishments as part of its business. “Retail tobacco store” does not include a tobacco department or section of a larger commercial establishment or any establishment with any type of liquor, food, or restaurant license.
“Wholesaler” means any person, wherever resident or located, engaged in the business of selling tobacco products to others for the purpose of resale. “Wholesaler”, when used in this Act, does not include a person licensed as a distributor.