DRS: IP 2006(30), Guide to Connecticut Cigarette Tax Laws and Other Cigarette-Related Laws for Persons Operating and Servicing 25 or More Cigarette Vending Machines

 

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE SERVICES

450 Columbus Blvd
Hartford CT 06103
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
IP 2006(30)
 
Guide to Connecticut Cigarette Tax Laws
and Other Cigarette-Related Laws for Persons
Operating and Servicing 25 or More
Cigarette Vending Machines
 

 
Purpose: This Informational Publication describes what the requirements of Connecticut cigarette tax laws and other cigarette-related laws are for you as a person operating and servicing 25 or more cigarette vending machines.
 

 
Effective Date: Effective upon issuance.
 

Statutory Authority: Conn. Gen. Stat. §§12-285 to 12-330p, inclusive, as amended by 2006 Conn. Pub. Acts 194, §§10 to 16, inclusive; and Conn. Gen. Stat. §53-344.


Definitions: For purposes of this Informational Publication:

  • Cigarette means any roll for smoking made wholly or in part of tobacco, irrespective of size or shape and irrespective of whether the tobacco is flavored, adulterated, or mixed with any other ingredient, where the roll has a wrapper or cover made of paper or any other material. Cigarette includes any roll for smoking that has a wrapper made of homogenized tobacco or natural leaf tobacco where the roll is a cigarette size and weighs three pounds or less per thousand. Cigarette does not include any roll for smoking, where such roll has a wrapper wholly or in greater part made of tobacco and weighs over three pounds per thousand.
  • Cigarette vending machine means a machine used for the purpose of automatically merchandising packages of cigarettes through the insertion of the proper amount of currency placed therein by the purchaser. Cigarette vending machine includes a restricted cigarette vending machine.
  • Connecticut Tobacco Directory means the directory of each manufacturer of cigarettes or roll-your-own tobacco that has completed and submitted a current and accurate Form TPM-2, Certification for Listing in Connecticut Directory, and all brand families listed on the form. The Connecticut Tobacco Directory is organized alphabetically both by brand and by manufacturer. Only cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco that are of a tobacco product manufacturer and brand family listed in the Connecticut Tobacco Directory may be sold, offered for sale, possessed for sale, or distributed in Connecticut.
  • DRS means the Department of Revenue Services.
  • Licensed cigarette dealer means a person issued a cigarette dealer’s license by DRS. Licensed cigarette dealer includes a person operating and servicing fewer than 25 cigarette vending machines.
  • Licensed cigarette distributor means a person issued a cigarette distributor’s license by DRS. Licensed cigarette distributor includes a person operating and servicing 25 or more cigarette vending machines.
  • Non-stamping distributor means a licensed cigarette distributor that is not a stamping distributor and that is allowed to purchase and sell stamped packages of cigarettes (and prohibited from purchasing and selling unstamped packages of cigarettes).
  • Restricted cigarette vending machine means a machine used for the dispensing of packages of cigarettes which automatically deactivates after each individual sale, cannot be left operable after a sale, and requires, prior to each individual sale, a face-to-face interaction or display of identification between an employee of the area, facility, or business where the machine is located and the purchaser.
  • Stamping distributor means a licensed cigarette distributor that is allowed to purchase unstamped packages of cigarettes and is required to affix Connecticut cigarette tax stamps to those packages before the packages are transferred out of the stamping distributor’s possession.

What does a cigarette distributor’s license allow me to do?

A Connecticut cigarette distributor’s license permits you to make retail sales of cigarettes in Connecticut from the 25 or more cigarette vending machines that you are operating and servicing in Connecticut. Without a Connecticut cigarette distributor’s license, you could not lawfully make retail sales of cigarettes in Connecticut from those cigarette vending machines. As a non-stamping distributor, you must purchase your cigarette inventory only from stamping distributors (and are prohibited from purchasing your cigarette inventory from anyone other than a stamping distributor). However, you must inspect all packages of cigarettes (including packages of cigarettes in cartons) before selling them to ensure the following conditions are met:

  • Each package of cigarettes must have Connecticut cigarette tax stamps attached to them. (If the packages either have no Connecticut cigarette tax stamps attached to them, or have the cigarette tax stamps of other states attached to them, or if the Connecticut cigarette tax stamps do not look genuine, see How do I report suspected violations by other licensed cigarette distributors to DRS? for further instructions.) You are prohibited from purchasing or selling packages of cigarettes that do not have Connecticut cigarette tax stamps attached to them.
  • Each package of cigarettes must contain not less than 20 cigarettes. You are prohibited from purchasing or selling packages of cigarettes containing less than 20 cigarettes.
  • Each package of cigarettes must bear the Surgeon General’s warning. You are prohibited from purchasing or selling packages of cigarettes that do not bear the Surgeon General’s warning.
  • Each package of cigarettes must not bear any label or notice identifying that the cigarettes were intended for export, including “For export only,” “U.S. Tax-Exempt,” “For use outside U.S.” or similar wording. You are prohibited from purchasing or selling packages of cigarettes that bear any label or notice identifying that the cigarettes were intended for export.
  • Each package of cigarettes must be in a brand family listed on the Connecticut Tobacco Directory. (For information on how to view the Connecticut Tobacco Directory, see Where do I get the information I need?) You are prohibited from purchasing or selling packages of cigarettes that are not in a brand family listed on the Connecticut Tobacco Directory.

If your inspection of the cigarettes discloses no violations of the conditions listed above, your retail sales of cigarettes are subject to the following further conditions:

  • You must meet the requirements described below in Where may I place my cigarette vending machines or restricted cigarette vending machines? and Are there other conditions that apply to my operation and servicing of cigarette vending machines?
  • You must not purchase or sell cigarettes below cost.

As a licensed cigarette distributor, what am I required to do?

You are required to:

  • Place your cigarette vending machines or restricted cigarette vending machines only where they are allowed to be placed. (For information, see Where may I place my cigarette vending machines or restricted cigarette vending machines?)
  • Place and maintain in legible condition on the front of each cigarette vending machine a notice that states:
    • That the sale, giving, or delivering of cigarettes to any person under the age of 18 is prohibited by Conn. Gen. Stat. §53-344;
    • That the purchase or misrepresentation of age by a person under the age of 18 to purchase cigarettes is prohibited by Conn. Gen. Stat. §53-344; and
    • The civil penalties and criminal fines for violating Conn. Gen. Stat. §§12-295a and
      53-344.
  • Report, by mailing, faxing, or e-mailing Form OR-318, Cigarette Vending Machine Location Change, to DRS any change in location of a registered cigarette vending machine, removal from service of a registered cigarette vending machine, or placement of an unregistered cigarette vending machine no later than 30 days after such change, removal, or placement. For this purpose, a registered cigarette vending machine is a cigarette vending machine for which a cigarette vending machine license has been issued by DRS, and an unregistered cigarette vending machine is a cigarette vending machine for which no cigarette vending machine license has been issued by DRS.

How frequently must I renew my cigarette distributor’s license?

A cigarette distributor’s license is an annual license and expires on September 30. To renew your cigarette distributor’s license, you must file the application for renewal (Form REG-9), which is automatically mailed to you by DRS before your current license expires. The license renewal fee is $1,000.


 

What records am I required to maintain?

You are required to keep a journal that shows the stocking or re-stocking (by package, date, and machine) of your cigarette vending machines, a purchases journal that shows your daily purchases (by package) of cigarettes, and a copy of each purchase invoice showing the date, the name and address of the distributor, the quantity (by package) of cigarettes purchased, the cost to you of the cigarettes, and whether or not you were allowed a trade discount other than a cash discount. You are required to preserve these records for at least three years.


Is my inventory and are my records subject to inspection during normal business hours?

DRS agents may examine your books, papers, and records relating to cigarettes that were purchased or sold by you, without prior notice, during your normal business hours.

DRS agents may investigate and examine your cigarette inventory in or upon the premises where your cigarette inventory is possessed, stored, or sold. This examination may include the physical testing of the cigarettes or their packaging and the testing of Connecticut cigarette tax stamps by electronic or chemical means.

If you are in possession of any packages of cigarettes that you are prohibited from selling (such as packages of cigarettes that either have no Connecticut cigarette tax stamps attached to them or that have the tax stamps of other states attached to them), DRS agents will seize those cigarettes as contraband. For more information on cigarettes you are prohibited from selling, see What does a cigarette distributor’s license allow me to do?

Any house, building, or other premises and any vehicle or other conveyance suspected of containing untaxed cigarettes may be searched by DRS agents under due process of law and the cigarettes may be seized without a warrant.

Any vehicle used to transport untaxed cigarettes, and all equipment or tangible personal property used in connection with the transport, are contraband and may be seized by DRS agents without a warrant.


What criminal sanctions am I subject to if I engage in activities that licensed cigarette distributors are prohibited from doing?

  • If you fail to post notice concerning sales of cigarettes to persons under the age of 18, you are subject to a criminal fine of not more than $100. For a description of the notice required to be posted, see As a licensed cigarette distributor, what am I required to do?
  • If you sell cigarettes without a cigarette distributor’s license, you are subject to a criminal fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than three months, or both, for each offense. Each day of unauthorized operation is deemed to be a separate offense.
  • If you place a cigarette vending machine or a restricted cigarette vending machine in any area, facility, or business where a machine is not allowed to be placed, you are subject to a civil penalty of $250 for the first violation, $500 for a second violation within 18 months, and $500 for a third violation within 18 months. For more information, see Where may I place my cigarette vending machines or restricted cigarette vending machines?
  • If you sell, offer for sale, display for sale, or possess with intent to sell any cigarettes you are prohibited from selling, you are subject to being fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both fined and imprisoned. For more information on cigarettes you are prohibited from selling, see What does a cigarette distributor’s license allow me to do? If you sell, offer for sale, display for sale, or possess with intent to sell 20,000 or more cigarettes you are prohibited from selling, you are subject to being fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not less than one year nor more than five years, or both fined and imprisoned.

In addition to the criminal sanctions for the offenses mentioned above, your cigarette distributor’s license may, after a hearing ordered by DRS, be suspended or revoked by DRS if DRS determines that you have committed any of these offenses.


How do I report suspected violations by other licensed cigarette distributors to DRS?

Suspected violations should be reported to the DRS Special Investigations Unit at (860) 566-4914.


Where may I place my cigarette vending machines or restricted cigarette vending machines?

Cigarette vending machines: You may place your cigarette vending machine(s) only:

  • In an area, facility, or business that is accessible only to persons 18 years of age or older, or
  • In an area, facility, or business for which a liquor permit has been issued under the Liquor Control Act; Conn. Gen. Stat. §30-1 et seq., if the area, facility, or business has a separate area accessible only to persons 18 years of age or older and the machine is placed in that area.

Restricted cigarette vending machines: You may place your restricted cigarette vending machine(s) only in an area, facility, or business that is not frequented primarily by persons under the age of 18.


Are there other conditions that apply to my operation and servicing of cigarette vending machines?

Yes. A separate cigarette vending machine license is required for each cigarette vending machine you operate and service in Connecticut. A cigarette vending machine license is in addition to, and not in lieu of, the cigarette distributor’s license you are required to obtain. You are required to keep the cigarette vending machine license affixed (in a conspicuous place) to the cigarette vending machine for which the license is issued. A cigarette vending machine license is an annual license and expires on September 30. To renew your vending machine licenses, you must file the application for renewal (Form REG-9), which is automatically mailed to you by DRS before your current vending machine licenses expire. There is no fee to apply for or to renew a cigarette vending machine license.


Where do I get the information I need?

You may visit the DRS Web site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By clicking on the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Taxes quick link, you will have instant access to:

  • Connecticut cigarette tax statutes and regulations;
  • Special Notices, Announcements, Policy Statements and Informational Publications affecting the Connecticut cigarette tax;
  • A list of licensed cigarette distributors; and
  • The Connecticut Tobacco Directory.

What forms am I required to file?

As a non-stamping distributor, you are not required to file any cigarette tax forms with DRS unless you intend to acquire unstamped cigarettes and have, prior to acquiring such cigarettes, provided notice of such intent to DRS, in compliance with Conn. Agencies Regs. §12-293a(a)-1. However, you are required to file an application (Form REG-9) to renew your cigarette distributor’s license and your cigarette vending machine license(s). Form REG-9 will automatically be sent to you for your completion.


Effect on Other Documents: None affected. 


Effect of This Document: An Informational Publication issued by DRS addresses frequently asked questions about a current position, policy, or practice, usually in a less technical question and answer format.


For Further Information: Call DRS during business hours, Monday through Friday:

  • 1-800-382-9463 (Connecticut calls outside the Greater Hartford calling area only); or
  • 860-297-5962 (from anywhere)

TTY, TDD, and Text Telephone users only may transmit inquiries anytime by calling 860-297-4911.


Forms and Publications: Forms and publications are available anytime by:

  • Internet: Visit the DRS Web site at www.ct.gov/DRS to download and print Connecticut tax forms; or
  • Telephone: Call 1-800-382-9463 (Connecticut calls outside the Greater Hartford calling area only) and select Option 2 from a touch-tone phone, or call 860-297-4753 (from anywhere).

Paperless Filing/Payment Methods (fast, easy, free, and confidential):

  • For business returns: Use Fast-File to file sales and use taxes, business use tax, room occupancy tax, estimated corporation business tax, business entity tax, attorney occupational tax, nursing home provider fee, admissions and dues tax, or withholding tax returns over the Internet. Visit the DRS Web site at www.ct.gov/DRS and click on File/Register OnLine.
  • For payment of business taxes other than those listed above: Use Fast-File to pay your business taxes over the Internet or by phone. Visit the DRS Web site at www.ct.gov/DRS and click on Electronic Services for a list of eligible taxes. The ACH debit method is used to make the transfer. No preregistration is required. 
  • For resident income tax returns: Use WebFile to file personal income tax returns over the Internet. Visit the DRS Web site at www.ct.gov/DRS and click on File/Register OnLine.
  • For electronic filing of income tax extensions, estimated payments, and for electronic bill payments: Use WebFile to electronically file personal income tax returns over the Internet. You can also use WebFile to make an electronic income tax payment for a prior year. Visit the DRS Web site at www.ct.gov/DRS and click on File/Register OnLine.

DRS E-News Service: Get connected to the latest news from DRS. Receive notification by e-mail of changes to legislation, policies, and procedures. DRS E-News is easy to sign up for – visit www.ct.gov/DRS and follow the directions. Subscription services are available for employer’s withholding tax, Fast-File information, Alerts, News – Press Releases, and Top 100 Delinquency List.


IP 2006(30)

Cigarette Tax

Cigarette Vending Machine Operators

Issued: 08/24/2006