IPCPR Legislative | Tennessee



Tennessee State Contact Information

Tennessee Department of Revenue
Tobacco, Alcohol, and Miscellaneous Tax Hotline
(615) 253-0680 (option 1)
(615) 741-0682 fax

Tennessee Ethics Commission
(615) 741-7959

Taxation in Tennessee


Tennessee imposes a tax on every dealer or distributor of tobacco products for the privilege of selling tobacco products in the state. The tobacco tax is declared to be a levy on the consumer, and the consumer will be liable for the tax and subject to the incidence of the tax. Distributors must add the amount of tobacco taxes levied to the price of other tobacco products, and the distributor may state the amount of the taxes separately from the price of the tobacco products on all price display signs, sales or delivery slips, bills, and statements that advertise or indicate the price of the tobacco products.

Little cigars that meet the definition of cigarette for tobacco tax purposes are required to have the tobacco tax stamp affixed to each package. Cigarette means


  • all rolled, shredded, or cut tobacco, or any substitute therefor, wrapped in paper, or substitute therefore, and
  • all rolled, shredded or cut tobacco, or any substitute therefor, wrapped in homogenized tobacco wrapper, and
    • Being within customary cigarette sizes and
    • Marketed in cigarette type packages


Tenn. Code. § 67-4-1001: Part definitions


Tenn. Code. § 67-4-1002: Tax imposed


Tenn. Code. § 67-4-1003: Tax levied on consumer


Department of Revenue staff reported that Tennessee localities do not levy additional taxes on tobacco products.


Effective 7/1/2016:


SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 67-6-410(a), is amended by deleting subdivision (1) and substituting instead the following language: (1) The commissioner is authorized to require persons selling beer, as defined in § 57-5-101, and persons selling tobacco products, as defined in § 67-4-1001, to retailers of such products to file an information report of such sales with the department. Nothing shall prevent a seller from including in its report sales of tangible personal property that are not otherwise required by this section.


Tennessee H.B. 2579 – Tobacco Taxes

The tax on other tobacco products, including cigars, cheroots, stogies, beedies, bidis, manufactured tobacco, and snuff of all descriptions whether made of tobacco or any substitute for tobacco, is 6.6% of the wholesale cost price.


Tenn. Code. § 67-4-1005: Rate on other tobacco products

All licensed persons making wholesale sales of other tobacco products in Tennessee must report their tobacco products activities on the Tobacco Products Return (Form TOB-552) and all applicable schedules on or before the 15th day of each month, along with payment for taxes due. Tennessee retailers purchasing tobacco products from wholesalers and/or manufacturers not licensed in Tennessee must report such activities on Schedule C using their cost price.


Tenn. Code. § 67-4-1011: Records and reports

Tennessee Department of Revenue: Tobacco Tax Forms


Form TOB-552: Tobacco Products Return

Definitions in Tennessee


“Smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, or other lighted tobacco product in any manner or in any form.


Tenn. Code. § 39-17-1802(16)


“Tobacco products” means cigars, cigarettes, manufactured tobacco and snuff, but not tobacco produced and processed by the grower for the grower’s own use and not for sale.


Tenn. Code. § 67-4-1001(23)


“Cigar” or “cigars” include any roll of tobacco, for smoking, irrespective of the tobacco being flavored or adulterated, or mixed with other ingredients, where such a roll has a wrapper made chiefly of tobacco, except “cigar” or “cigars” does not include cigarettes.


Tenn. Code. § 67-4-1001(1)


“Loose tobacco” is tobacco that is not contained in rolls or tubes and that has been removed from its original packaging.


Tenn. Code. § 67-4-1001(12)


“Wholesale dealer and jobber” means any person who maintains wholesale facilities in 1 or more permanent locations, and engages in the business of receiving, storing, purchasing, selling at wholesale only, importing unstamped tobacco products, and otherwise handling tobacco products for resale at a wholesale price only to other licensed wholesale dealers and jobbers, or tobacco distributors or retail dealers, but does not sell tobacco products directly to the ultimate consumer.


Tenn. Code. § 67-4-1001(26)


“Tobacco distributor” means any person who receives, purchases, sells, or otherwise handles tobacco products as a secondary wholesaler and who acquires all that person’s tobacco products on which, prior to receipt by the person, the tobacco tax required by Tennessee and any other state has been previously paid by a Tennessee wholesaler that is also a Tennessee appointed and bonded affixing agent, and who sells or otherwise makes available such tobacco products to retailers in this and perhaps other states at a wholesale price for the purpose of resale to the consumer.


Tenn. Code. § 67-4-1001(21)


“Retail dealer” means each tobacco vending machine, place, store, booth, concession, truck or vehicle, or person that in any way sells or makes available tobacco products directly to the ultimate consumer.


Tenn. Code. § 67-4-1001(18)


“Wholesale cost price” means the manufacturers’ and/or processors’ actual sales price of any tobacco product, delivered to Tennessee dealers, exclusive of any discounts, rebates, allowances, or the privilege tax on tobacco products.


Tenn. Code. § 67-4-1001(25)


“Sale” means, in addition to its usual meaning, any sale, use, transfer, exchange, barter, gift, or offer for sale and distribution, in any manner or by any means whatsoever.


Tenn. Code. § 67-4-1001(19)

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