Cigarette Tax Enforcement

Finance is engaged in an active campaign against people who try to evade cigarette taxes.

This includes:

  • an advertising campaign to educate the public
  • an ongoing effort to collect taxes from people who have purchased untaxed cigarettes
  • legal action against people involved in cigarette tax evasion and fraud

We are also informing sellers, advertisers, shippers, and purchasers of their legal obligations and responsibilities.

Whenever Finance obtains purchase, payment or shipping information from a vendor of untaxed cigarettes, the purchasers must pay the New York City Cigarette Tax. Finance obtains the purchase and shipping records of various internet and mail order cigarette dealers who sell to New York City  residents. To date, Finance has billed and collected the following amounts: 

COLLECTED BILLED # NYC CUSTOMERS BILLED $578,114 $956,340 2,313 $35,355 $120,845 136 $177,068 $277,695 1,331 *  $1,458,043 $3,300,585 2,000 * 


$2,504,789 2,000





*Still ongoing. Numbers reflect efforts from 9/1/06 through 6/30/13.

If you received a letter from Finance, your name was on the purchase and shipping records of the above mentioned companies, and you will be required to pay the Cigarette Tax.

There is a Cigarette Tax Payment Form with the letter you received. If you submit a completed form and pay in full within 30 days of receiving the letter, we will not charge any interest or penalties. You may also be eligible for a Cigarette Tax Installment Agreement

Who Is Responsible for Paying This Tax? 
The tax should be paid by the vendor/distributor including internet and direct mail vendors, and passed along to the consumer in the cost of each pack of cigarettes. However, if the vendor/distributor hasn't paid the Cigarette Tax, the customer must do so. This is why it is the purchaser's responsibility to make sure that the appropriate tax stamp is present on every pack of cigarettes they buy. Vendors who fail to comply may face criminal action.

Finance's Tax Enforcement Division also targets newspapers and magazines that advertise false or illegal activity such as "tax-free cigarettes". These advertisements are misleading and encourage tax fraud.

Contact Information
New York City Department of Finance
Enforcement Division, CTX Unit
30-10 Starr Avenue, 2nd Floor
Long Island City, NY 11101

Or call 718-610-4080 

NYC & NYS Cigarette Vendor Licenses