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Nebraska Department of Revenue

Nebraska Department of Revenue

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Have you received a cigarette tax assessment letter from the Nebraska Department of Revenue?

This guidance document is advisory in nature but is binding on the Nebraska Department of Revenue (Department) until amended. A guidance document does not include internal procedural documents that only affect the internal operations of the Department and does not impose additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties or include confidential information or rules and regulations made in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. If you believe that this guidance document imposes additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties, you may request a review of the document.

This guidance document may change with updated information or added examples. The Department recommends you do not print this document. Instead, sign up for the subscription service at revenue.nebraska.gov to get updates on your topics of interest.

If you have purchased cigarettes from an Internet or mail order company, you may have recently received a tax bill from the Department of Revenue for those purchases. This tax bill represents the cigarette tax and state/local use tax, as well as applicable penalty and interest for purchases of cigarettes where the proper tax was not paid. Like most other purchases made over the Internet or via mail order, if the proper tax is not collected by the seller, the tax is still owed by the purchaser.

Information pertaining to these purchases is provided to the Department of Revenue as required by federal law 15 U.S.C. § 376, commonly called the Jenkins Act. The Jenkins Act requires anyone who sells and ships cigarettes into any state to report each and every one of those sales to each state monthly. The required information includes the purchaser's name, address, and order information including the brand and quantity ordered. Unfortunately, most Internet or mail order cigarette vendors/sellers do not notify their customers of the requirement to pay the cigarette tax and use tax on these purchases. This does not, however, relieve the purchaser from paying the tax.

You should use the Nebraska Cigarette and Use Tax Return, Form 55C, to report and pay taxes on any future Internet or mail order cigarette purchases you may make. If you have questions regarding this program, please call 800-742-7474 or 877-339-0631 (toll free in Nebraska and Iowa), 402-471-5729 or 402-471-5807.

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