Effective January 1, 2021, the cigarette excise tax in Colorado is 9.7¢ per cigarette or $1.94 per pack of 20 cigarettes for cigarettes that are not modified risk tobacco products and is 6.45¢ per cigarette or $1.29 per pack of 20 cigarettes that are modified risk tobacco products. The wholesaler affixes the tax stamp on each pack of cigarettes sold, and this indicates the cigarette excise taxes have been paid.
How to Order Cigarette Stamps
Cigarette stamps are available to licensed wholesalers from the Department of Revenue in 20 cigarettes per stamp rolls, wide 20 count rolls, 20 count sheets/pads, modified risk 20 cigarettes per stamp rolls, and modified risk 20 cigarettes per stamp sheets/pads. Licensed distributors may order cigarette stamps by emailing the Department of Revenue at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the Cigarette Tax Stamp Order Amount Spreadsheet to calculate the tax for your cigarette stamp orders.
Shipping of cigarette tax stamps must be paid by the distributors. The distributors must provide to the department their carrier of choice and their account number for the carrier. The department will include a "Cigarette Tax Shipment Advice" along with each order of cigarette tax stamps. It should be retained because the information on it will be used in completing the cigarette tax return.
Cigarette stamps cannot be transferred or sold between wholesalers.
Due Date for Cigarette Stamp Orders
The date the stamp order is shipped by the vendor determines the due date for the tax on the cigarette stamps, not the date the stamps are received. This information is found on the Cigarette Tax Shipment Advice letter that is emailed to the distributor with the order confirmation.
Cigarette Stamp Storage Recommendations
The following guidelines are those provided by the cigarette stamp manufacturer:
- Storage conditions can impact stamp performance
- Stamps are designed to tolerate normal room temperature and humidity environments
- Stamps should be maintained at a consistent temperature and humidity in the stamping environment
- Avoid prolonged and direct exposure to sunlight (UV)
- Avoid storing stamps near hot surfaces or sources of heat (e.g., furnaces and heaters)
- Stamps are not waterproof
Cigarette Stamp Returns and Refunds
Cigarette tax stamps returned to the Excise Tax Unit within one year of the purchase/issuance date are eligible for a refund. The last page of the Claim for Refund, DR 0137 (see Forms in Number Order), must be completed and accompany the returned stamps. Be sure to include the roll numbers, stamp counts, date of purchase/issuance, and the reason for the stamp return in the "Refund Request Reason."
Return the stamps along with the claim for refund form to:
Every pack of cigarettes sold to consumers in Colorado must have a Colorado cigarette stamp affixed to the bottom of the pack, which includes cigarettes that are “modified risk tobacco products” and orders placed online, by phone, or mail.
The stamp should clearly indicate "Colorado." It is illegal to import cigarettes into Colorado for sale or resale without obtaining a license. Unstamped cigarettes not in the possession of a licensed cigarette wholesaler are illegal and subject to seizure at any place in Colorado and should not be sold to a consumer. The penalty is 25¢ per unstamped cigarette, either purchased or possessed.