New York Department of Taxation and Finance
Miscellaneous Business Tax Information Center
New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics
Taxation in New York
New York imposes a tobacco products tax on all tobacco products possessed in the state by any person for sale. Distributors are liable for payment of the tax on tobacco products that they import or cause to be imported into the state, or that they manufacture in the state, or that they sell, ship, or deliver. New York also imposes a use tax on tobacco products used in the state, except that no tax will be imposed if the tobacco products tax has previously been paid, or on the use of 250 cigars or less, or 5 pounds or less of tobacco other than roll-your-own tobacco, or 36 ounces or less of roll-your-own tobacco brought into the state on, or in the possession of, any person.
N.Y. Tax Law § 471-b: Imposition of tobacco products tax Department of Taxation and Finance staff reported that localities do not levy additional taxes on tobacco products.
The tax on tobacco products other than snuff and little cigars is 75% of the wholesale price. The tax on snuff is $2 per ounce and a proportionate rate on any fractional parts of an ounce, based on the net weight as listed by the manufacturer.
“Wholesale price” means the established price for which a manufacturer sells tobacco products to a distributor, before the allowance of any discount, trade allowance, rebate or other reduction. In the absence of such an established price, a manufacturer’s invoice price of any tobacco product will be presumptive evidence of the wholesale price of such tobacco product, and in its absence the price at which such tobacco products were purchased will be presumed to be the wholesale price, unless evidence of a lower wholesale price is established or any industry standard of markups relating to the purchase price in relation to the wholesale price is established.
On or after December 1, 2013, if a distributor is unable to determine the wholesale price of cigars, the distributor may use an industry standard adjustment ratio of 38%. The wholesale price of cigars can be determined by multiplying the purchase price by this adjustment ratio. The tax due can then be determined by multiplying the resulting amount by 75%. If a distributor believes that the wholesale price is lower than the amount computed using the adjustment ratio, a manufacturer’s invoice or other evidence must be used to establish the lower price. The industry standard adjustment ratio applies only to cigars. For more information, go to http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/memos/cigarette/m13_12m.pdf.
Every tobacco products distributor must file a Distributor of Tobacco Products Tax Return (Form MT-203-MN) and applicable schedules on or before the 20th day of each month, along with payment for taxes due. Each tobacco products wholesaler must file a Wholesale Dealer of Tobacco Products Informational Return (Form MT-203-W) and applicable schedules on or before the 20th day of the month following the end of each calendar quarter. Any person who possesses or imports non-tax paid tobacco products in New York for use must file a Tobacco Products Use Tax Return (Form MT-201) within 24 hours after bringing, receiving, or otherwise using tobacco products, other than possession for sale.
“Cigar” means any roll of tobacco wrapped in leaf tobacco or in any substance containing tobacco (other than any roll of tobacco that is a cigarette), including, except where expressly excluded, any little cigar.
“Roll-your-own tobacco” means any tobacco product that, because of its appearance, type, packaging, or labeling, is suitable for use and likely to be offered to, or purchased by, consumers as tobacco for making cigarettes.
“Little cigar” means any roll for smoking made wholly or in part of tobacco if such product is wrapped in any substance containing tobacco, other than natural leaf tobacco wrapper, and weighing not more than 4 pounds per 1,000 or with a cellulose acetate or other integrated filter.
“Distributor” means any person who imports or causes to be imported into the state any tobacco product (in excess of 50 cigars or one pound of tobacco) for sale, or who manufactures any tobacco product in the state, and any person within or without the state who is authorized by the commissioner of taxation and finance to make returns and pay the tax on tobacco products sold, shipped, or delivered by him to any person in the state.
“Wholesale dealer” means any person who (a) sells cigarettes or tobacco products to retail dealers or other persons for purposes of resale, or (b) owns, operates, or maintains one or more cigarette or tobacco product vending machines in, at, or upon premises owned or occupied by any other person, or (c) sells cigarettes or tobacco products to an Indian nation or tribe or to a reservation cigarette seller on a qualified reservation.
“Wholesale price” means the established price for which a manufacturer sells tobacco products to a distributor, before the allowance of any discount, trade allowance, rebate or other reduction. In the absence of such an established price, a manufacturer’s invoice price of any tobacco product will be presumptive evidence of the wholesale price of such tobacco product, and in its absence the price at which such tobacco products were purchased will be presumed to be the wholesale price, unless evidence of a lower wholesale price is established or any industry standard of markups relating to the purchase price in relation to the wholesale price is established.N.Y. Tax Law § 470(6)
“Sale” means any transfer of title or possession or both, exchange or barter, conditional or otherwise, in any manner or by any means whatever, or any agreement therefore.