California Cigarette Tax Stamp Program Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the California Cigarette Tax Stamp Program?
  2. If I am already registered as a California cigarette distributor, are there other registration requirements to be able to purchase cigarette tax stamps?
  3. How do I place a cigarette tax stamp order?
  4. What about payments?
  5. Can I make payment by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)?
  6. How do I order a stamping machine?
  7. How much do the stamping machines cost?
  8. What if I can't afford to purchase a stamping machine?
  9. Can I buy or lease machines from another source?
  10. Do the stamps allow for manual application?
  11. From the time I place a stamp order, how long will it take to get my stamps?
  12. Can Meyercord expedite the shipment of my order?
  13. How many stamps are on a roll?
  14. Can I buy stamps on credit?
  15. What deferred payment options are available and when are payments due?
  16. What types of security does BOE accept?
  17. How do I make a payment for cash purchases?
  18. How do I make payment towards credit purchases?
  19. Is there a way to check the status of an order?
  20. Is there any way for a manufacturer, retailer, or wholesaler to verify that the stamp is authentic?
  21. If I have problems with my stamping machine, who should I call?
  22. What if I have old, heat-applied stamps after my new stamping equipment is in place?
  23. If I have additional questions who can I contact?

  1. What is the California Cigarette Tax Stamp Program?

    The California Cigarette Tax Stamp Program was developed by the State Board of Equalization (BOE) to implement the new California tax stamp mandated under Senate Bill (SB) 1701, enacted September 26, 2002. SB 1701 required the BOE 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 BOE has entered into a contract with SICPA Products Security to sell the new cigarette tax stamps and related application equipment.

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  2. If I am already registered as a California cigarette distributor, are there other registration requirements to be able to purchase cigarette stamps?

    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.

  3. How do I place a cigarette tax stamp order?

    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 BOE-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 by visiting https://efile.boe.ca.gov/boe/boe_login.jsp

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  4. What about payments?

    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 1-916-326-3155.

  5. Can I make payment by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)?

    Yes. You can make a payment by EFT. Please contact Bank of America, Commercial Client Support at 1-916-326-3155 to make arrangements for EFT payments.

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  6. How do I order a stamping machine?

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

  7. How much do the stamping machines cost?

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

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  8. What if I can't afford to purchase a stamping machine?

    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.

  9. Can I buy or lease machines from another source?

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

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  10. Do the stamps allow for manual application?

    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.

  11. From the time I place a stamp order, how long will it take to get my stamps?

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

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  12. Can Meyercord expedite the shipment of my order?

    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 BOE. Please contact Meyercord for details at 1-630-682-6200.

  13. How many stamps are on a roll?

    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

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  14. Can I buy stamps on credit?

    Yes. If you would like to purchase stamps on a deferred payment option, please complete form BOE-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.

  15. What deferred payment options are available and when are payments due?

    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 BOE 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 BOE 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.

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  16. What types of security does BOE accept?

    BOE 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 BOE-487-DCB, Irrevocable Letter of Credit).
  17. How do I make a payment for cash purchases?

    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.

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  18. How do I make payment towards credit purchases?

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

  19. Is there a way to check the status of an order?

    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 BOE Electronic Services Menu.

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  20. Is there any way for a manufacturer, retailer or wholesaler to verify that the stamp is authentic?

    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.

  21. If I have problems with my stamping machine, who should I call?

    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.

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  22. What if I have old, heat-applied stamps after my new stamping equipment is in place?

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

  23. If I have additional questions who can I contact?

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

    Special Taxes and Fees
    Cigarette Tax Stamp Program, MIC:41
    State Board of Equalization
    450 N Street
    PO Box 942879
    Sacramento, CA 94279-7077

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

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