Consumers are always on the lookout for a good deal, and that is no less true of those who smoke. With many name brands now retailing in excess of $7 per pack, the lure of "tax free cigarettes" advertised on line or in print publications may be too much to resist.
But be advised that there is no such thing as "tax free cigarettes." Indeed, those very same internet or print ads for cheap smokes will carry fine print stating that the jurisdiction in which a taxpayer lives may tax these purchases, and that is certainly the case in Massachusetts, which levies a tax of $2.51 per pack of 20 cigarettes.
The fact is that all internet and mail order cigarette sellers are required under federal law (the Jenkins Act) to report the purchase, name and address to Massachusetts and other states. While not all such sales are reported to Massachusetts, many are. Once informed, the Department of Revenue will send a Notice of Intention to Assess, followed by a tax bill that adds penalties and interest to the tax bill.
Since 2003, as a result of such cigarette sales notifications from retailers, Massachusetts has collected about $9.364 million in tax, penalties and interest from individuals who did not pay the cigarette tax at the time of purchase.
Most deals that sound too good to be true aren't, and that's the case with "tax free cigarettes" as well.
If you have questions or comments, contact the Dennis Buckley, Taxpayer Advocate.
EITC – Helping Low and Moderate Income Families in MA posted on Jan 29
EITC, also known as the Earned Income Tax Credit, has been helping low to moderate income families in Massachusetts and across the country for over 40 years. In recent months, Governor Charlie Baker and members of the Legislature have worked hard to ensure that working …Continue Reading EITC – Helping Low and Moderate Income Families in MA
DOR Homepage gets a facelift posted on Jan 14
Today, DOR unveiled a brand new homepage intended to making it easier for taxpayers to find what they’re looking for when it comes to filing and paying their state taxes. DOR’s communications team used consumer insights and online analytics to better understand how taxpayers use the site, …Continue Reading DOR Homepage gets a facelift
Did You Know Home Heating Oil is Mass Sales Tax Exempt? posted on Jan 14
In preparation for the winter months, we want to remind you that home heating oil is exempt from Massachusetts sales tax. This winter season, DOR wants you to be prepared. Here’s what you need to know when purchasing your home heating oil: Who is exempt …Continue Reading Did You Know Home Heating Oil is Mass Sales Tax Exempt?