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.
Five Reasons to E-File with DOR’s WebFile for Income posted on Feb 24
With Tax season well under way; DOR would like to help you make the decision to E-File with WebFile for Income this year. We know, “I’m not computer savvy” or “What about the safety of my information” has been said many times before, but we’d …Continue Reading Five Reasons to E-File with DOR’s WebFile for Income
Class in Session at DOR University posted on Jan 20
Looking to educate yourself this tax season? Want to learn more about tax options, or DOR-related issues? All this can be achieved at DOR University, the Department of Revenue’s free online e-learning module. DOR University, created to offer free tax education to the public and …Continue Reading Class in Session at DOR University
Multi-agency investigation in two states leads to charges posted on Nov 19
Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Illegal Tobacco Commission, chaired by DOR Commissioner Amy Pitter, released a report on the illicit tobacco trade which recommends that teaming up with federal, state and local law enforcement can be a successful model for combatting such criminal activity. And …Continue Reading Multi-agency investigation in two states leads to charges