California Excise Tax and Use Tax Due on Cigarettes Purchased from Outside California - News Release - 2000

NR# 4-G
Date: January 18, 2000
Customer and Taxpayer Services Division

California Excise Tax and Use Tax Due on Cigarettes Purchased from Outside California

The State Board of Equalization (BOE) would like to remind California residents that cigarettes purchased from out of state by mail, telephone, or through the Internet are subject to both the California cigarette excise tax and the California use tax.

Cigarette purchasers must report and pay these taxes directly to the BOE. The current California excise tax is $.87 per package of 20 cigarettes. A companion of the sales tax, the use tax is applied to purchases of merchandise outside California if the merchandise is brought into California for storage, consumption, or use here. The use tax is the same as the sales tax rate-7.25 percent to 8.50 percent, depending on the county or city of residence.

Failure to report and pay the taxes due could result in the assessment of interest and penalties. California residents who continue to purchase cigarettes from outside California or who purchased cigarettes from outside California in 1999 may receive tax returns from the BOE at a later date as information is received from out of state cigarette distributors who are required to report their sales to California.

For more information or to obtain a tax return, please contact the Board's Excise Taxes Division at 916-327-4208. Individuals can also call the Board's toll free number at 800-400-7115 for information.

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