Cigarette Retailers

  • All retailers selling cigarettes, tobacco products, and nicotine products within Colorado are now required to obtain a Cigarette, Tobacco Product, or Nicotine Product Retailer License through the Liquor and Tobacco Enforcement Division. Apply for the license at
  • Must have a retail sales tax license when purchasing product from a licensed Colorado cigarette wholesaler/distributor or wholesale subcontractor and will collect and file the sales tax with the Colorado Department of Revenue.
  • The retailer is not required to have a cigarette tax license.

Filing Information

To purchase stamped cigarettes from a licensed wholesaler for resale to the consumer, a retailer is required to provide a copy of their retail sales tax license to the wholesaler. List of Licensed Distributors is updated by the department within seven days of a change to the report.

Retailers must charge the state sales tax on all retail sales of cigarettes and file a Colorado sales tax return. Retailers in the regional transportation district (RTD) and the scientific and cultural facilities district (SCFD) must charge the RTD and/or SCFD special district sales tax on all retail sales of cigarettes. Otherwise, cigarettes are exempt from city and county sales tax and from other special district sales tax. Businesses are required to account for RTD, SCFD, and state sales tax on cigarettes on the Colorado Retail Sales Tax Return (DR 0100).

Additional Information

Before you start selling cigarettes that are not on the Certified Brands Directory, contact the Tobacco Settlement Section of the Attorney General's Office at (720) 508-6218 for more information.

When purchasing cigarettes, ensure the packs have Colorado a cigarette tax stamp affixed. Unstamped cigarettes are contraband and subject to seizure and a 25¢ per cigarette penalty. Every retailer who is not a licensed nicotine products or tobacco products distributor must keep at their place of business complete and accurate records to show all nicotine products and tobacco products received by the retailer were purchased from a licensed distributor who remitted the excise tax. The penalty for possession of untaxed nicotine products or untaxed tobacco products by an unlicensed person is 500% of the tax.

If you overpaid sales or use tax on a tax return you filed, you may deduct the over-payment on your next return. If you cannot deduct the over-payment on your next tax return, use the Claim for Refund (DR 0137), for sales tax previously remitted directly to the Department.

To make a claim for sales taxes paid in Home Rule cities, you must contact the city to obtain refund information. Visit the How To Look Up Sales & Use Tax Rates web page to find information about how to look up sales/use tax rates.