Cigarette & Tobacco Products Tax Registration Information
Who is required to register?
You are required to register if you are a distributor, wholesaler, manufacturer, or importer of cigarettes or tobacco products in California (see following definitions). For retail licensing requirements, see Publication 78, Sales of Cigarettes and Tobacco Products in California, and Publication 93, Cigarette and Tobacco Products Taxes. With the November 2016 passage of Proposition 56, the definition of "tobacco products" was expanded for tax purposes to include any product containing, made, or derived from tobacco or nicotine, little cigars, and electronic cigarettes that are sold in combination (for a single price) with nicotine (including any component, part, or accessory of an electronic cigarette sold in combination (for a single price) with nicotine). Beginning April 1, 2017, the distribution of these products will be subject to the tobacco products tax. Visit the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Tax Guide for more information about the expanded definition of "tobacco products" and the cigarette and tobacco products tax and licensing program.
Cigarette Distributor. A cigarette distributor is a person who makes the first distribution of cigarettes in this state. Distribution includes the sale of untaxed cigarettes, the use or consumption of untaxed cigarettes, and the placing of untaxed cigarettes into a vending machine or retail stock.
Tobacco Products Distributor. A tobacco products distributor is a person who makes the first distribution of untaxed tobacco products. Distribution includes the sale of untaxed tobacco products, the use or consumption of untaxed tobacco products, and the placing of untaxed tobacco products into a vending machine or retail stock.
Cigarette Wholesaler. A cigarette wholesaler is a person, other than a licensed distributor, who sells stamped cigarettes for resale.
Tobacco Products Wholesaler. A tobacco products wholesaler is a person, other than a licensed distributor, who sells tax-paid tobacco products for resale.
Manufacturer. A manufacturer is a person that manufactures cigarettes and tobacco products sold in this state.
Importer. An importer means any purchaser for resale in the United States of cigarettes or tobacco products manufactured outside the United States for the purpose of making a first sale or distribution within the United States.
Register for any accounts, licenses, or permits using online registration. Online registration is the convenient way to register and is available 24 hours a day. Upon registration, you will be required to pay the applicable license fee per location for the type of license required along with your tax account. Visit the tax rate page to view cigarette and tobacco products tax rates and license fees. See the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Tax Guide–Getting Started section for helpful information about the types of permits, accounts, and licenses required.