California Cigarette Tax Stamp Program – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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The California Cigarette Tax Stamp Program was developed by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) to implement the new California tax stamp mandated under Senate Bill (SB) 1701, enacted September 26, 2002. SB 1701 required the CDTFA to replace the old heat-applied decal tax stamp with a new tax stamp that can be read by a scanning device or similar device and encrypted with specific information after January 1, 2005. The CDTFA has entered into a contract with SICPA Products Security to sell the new cigarette tax stamps and related application equipment.

Yes. If you wish to purchase stamps, you will need to register as an authorized purchaser using online registration. Online Registration is the convenient way to register and is available 24 hours a day. This will allow you to authorize certain personnel to make stamp purchases for your account.

Also, by providing a valid e-mail address when registering, you will be eligible to order stamps via the Internet.

To place a cigarette tax stamp order, you must first be registered as an authorized cigarette tax stamp purchaser. Once registered, you may order stamps by faxing Form CDTFA-663-ACTS, "California Cigarette Tax Stamp Purchase Order," to the Stamp Desk at 1-916-327-6935. You may also order stamps via the Internet.

You will make payments to Bank of America for your cigarette tax stamp purchases. Distributors making deferred payments will also make payments to the Bank of America.

If you are a newly registered distributor, please make payment arrangements by contacting Bank of America, Commercial Client Support, at 1-888-841-8159, Option 4.

Yes. You can make a payment by EFT. Please contact Bank of America, Commercial Client Support at 1-888-841-8159, Option 4 to make arrangements for EFT payments.

You can contact United Silicone at 1-800-639-3799, to order a stamping machine.

United Silicone, the CDTFA stamping machine vendor, has set the price. If you have questions about the stamp application machines, you may call 1-800-639-3799.

High volume stamping machines may also be leased from United Silicone, the stamping machine vendor. In addition, a less costly hand-held stamping machine intended for low volume application is available for purchase or lease.

No. The stamping machines contain proprietary technology that can only be obtained from United Silicone.

Yes. These are adhesive pressure-sensitive stamps that can be applied with a less costly hand-held stamping machine. If you have questions about the hand held stamping machine, please contact Form 10 Group at info@form10.com or 1-408-988-0110.

Standard delivery will take 2-5 business days depending on when the order was placed and the method of payment.

Yes. If you need the stamps sooner than standard delivery, you may select expedited delivery on your order form. Meyercord will bill you for the expedited shipping charge. Do not include the shipping charges with payment to CDTFA. Please contact Meyercord for details at 1-630-682-6200.

Cigarette stamps can be ordered in the following denominations:

  • 20s, 30,000 stamps/roll
  • 20s, 1,200 stamps/roll
  • 25s, 1,200 stamps/roll
  • 10s, 1,200 stamps/roll

Yes. If you would like to purchase stamps on a deferred payment option, please complete form CDTFA-356, Cigarette Distributor's Application for Deferred Payment Option. If your application is approved, you will be notified in writing of the credit limit and effective start date for your deferred payments. If your application is not approved, you will also be notified in writing.

There are four options to defer payments for stamps.

Weekly payment without a security deposit

  • Your average per-month purchase in the previous 12 months must not have exceeded 72,000 stamps or meter register settings.
  • You must have been licensed with CDTFA for at least five years and in good standing for three consecutive years, with no delinquent filing of any reports or returns or delinquent payments for any tax or fee we administer or collect.
  • You must have a valid e-mail address on file so we can send you payment information, notify you of the amount due, and send any other critical information regarding your account.
  • Payment is due by Wednesday of the week after stamps were purchased.

Weekly payment with a security deposit

  • Requires a security deposit of at least 25 percent of your approved credit limit.
  • You must have a valid e-mail address on file with CDTFA so we can send you payment information, notify you of the amount due, and send any other critical information regarding your account.
  • Payment is due by Wednesday of the week after the stamps were purchased.

Twice-monthly payment

  • Requires a security deposit of at least 50 percent of your approved credit limit.
  • The first payment is due by the 5th of the following month in the amount of either one-half of the total prior month's purchase, or the total amount of the prior month's purchases made between the 1st and 15th of the prior month, whichever is greater.
  • The second monthly payment (any balance remaining after first payment) is due by the 25th of the following month.

Monthly payment

  • Requires a security deposit of at least 70 percent of your approved credit limit.
  • Payment is due by the 25th of the following month.

CDTFA accepts the following types of security:

  • Cash deposits.
  • Deposits accounts in banks, savings banks, and savings and loans including insured accounts, fully paid investment certificates, bonus investment certificates, and accumulative investment certificates.
  • State and federal credit union shares.
  • Surety bonds.
  • Letters of credit (To use a letter of credit as security, a licensed cigarette distributor must have their bank or financial institution complete and sign a form CDTFA-487-DCB, Irrevocable Letter of Credit).

All payments must be made directly to Bank of America. Please contact Bank of America, Commercial Client Support, at 1-916-326-3155 to make payment arrangements. Payments must be received by Bank of America before the order is released for processing.

Payments for purchases on the deferred payment basis must be sent directly to Bank of America.

Currently, you may inquire on the status of your order by calling the Stamp Desk at 1-916-341-6923. If you have a valid e-mail account, user Id, and password, you may check the status of your order by logging on to the CDTFA Electronic Services Menu.

Yes. A retail scanner is available for purchase that will authenticate the stamp. This device is available from Form 10 Group. Please contact them at 1-408-988-0110.

Any problems with your high-volume stamping equipment should be reported to United Silicone National Support Center at 1-800-639-3799. For parts and glue orders, please contact United Silicone at 1-716-681-8222 x 135.

Problems with your low volume stamping equipment should be reported to Form 10 Group at 1-408-988-0110.

As of January 1, 2009, refund claims for heat-applied cigarette tax stamps will not be allowed.

If you have additional questions regarding the California Cigarette Tax Stamp Program, please contact:

Special Taxes and Fees
Cigarette Tax Stamp Program, MIC:41
California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
450 N Street
PO Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-7077

Telephone: 1-916-341-6923
Fax: 1-916-327-6235