Maine Revenue Services
Sales, Fuel, and Special Tax Division
Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics & Election Practices
(207) 287-6775 fax
Taxation in Maine
Maine imposes a tax on smokeless and other tobacco products purchased for sale in the state by any person engaged in the business of a tobacco product distributor. The tax is imposed at the time the distributor brings or causes to be brought into Maine tobacco products that are for sale to consumers or to retailers or for use or at the time tobacco products are manufactured or fabricated in Maine for sale in the state. Consumers in possession of untaxed tobacco products are liable for the tax.
The tax rate for smokeless tobacco, including chewing tobacco and snuff, is $2.02/ounce, prorated for packages larger than one ounce. The tax on other tobacco products, including cigars, pipe tobacco, and other tobacco intended for smoking, is 20% of the wholesale sales price.
Every licensed tobacco products distributor must file, on or before the last day of each month, a Tobacco Products Tax Return, along with payment for the taxes due. The return must report all tobacco products held, purchased, manufactured, brought in, or caused to be brought in from outside Maine, or shipped or transported to retailers within the state during the preceding calendar month.
A person who is not a licensed tobacco products distributor who imports, receives, or otherwise acquires tobacco products for use or consumption in Maine from a person other than a licensed distributor must file, on or before the last day of the month following each month in which tobacco products were acquired, an Other Tobacco Products Tax Declaration.
“Tobacco products” means cigars; cheroots, stogies, periques, granulated, plug cut, crimp cut, ready rubbed, and other smoking tobacco; snuff; snuff flour; Cavendish; plug and twist tobacco; finecut and other chewing tobaccos; shorts; refuse scraps, clippings, cuttings, and sweepings 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; but does not include cigarettes.
A “distributor” is a person engaged in the business of producing or manufacturing tobacco products in Maine for sale in the state, a person engaged in the business of selling tobacco products in Maine who brings, or causes to be brought, into the state any tobacco products for sale to a retailer, a person engaged in the business of selling tobacco products who ships or transports tobacco products to retailers for sale in Maine, a retailer who imports, receives, or acquires, from a person other than a licensed distributor, tobacco products for sale within Maine or a person who makes delivery sales.
A “sale” is any transfer, exchange, barter, or gift in any manner or by any means whatsoever, for a consideration. “Sale” includes a gift for advertising by a person engaged in the business of selling tobacco products.