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How to apply for a tobacco wholesale, distributor and retailer license in the State of Texas?
Who is a wholesaler?

Any person, including a manufacturer's representative, who sells or distributes stamped cigarette packages or tax-paid cigars/tobacco products in this state for resale, but who is not a distributor.

Who is a distributor?

Any person who is authorized to purchase for the purpose of making a first sale in this state cigarettes and other tobacco products in unstamped packages from manufacturers and any person who manufactures, produces, ships, transports, imports into this state, acquires or possesses cigarettes and makes a first sale of the cigarettes in this state.

Who is a retailer?

Any person who engages in the practice of selling cigarettes, cigars and/or tobacco products to consumers and includes the owner of a coin-operated vending machine and/or vehicle from which these products are sold.

Who is eligible to apply for retailer permit?

Any person who sells cigarette, cigars and other tobacco products to consumers in Texas must have a retailer‘s permit. This includes vending machine and online tobacco retailers.

How to apply:

For a wholesaler and distributor license, file an application on form AP-175 ‘Texas application for non-retailer cigarettes’, cigars and tobacco products taxes permit.

In order to receive retailer permit, you are required to apply for the same on ‘Application for retailer‘s cigarettes, cigars and tobacco products taxes permit’ AP-193.

Application can be submitted online or by mail to the local comptroller field office.

How much is the fee?

A Wholesaler and distributor permit fee is $300 due on 1st February in a calendar year.

The retail permit fee is $180 for two years permit due on 1st of June and is allocated on prorate basis if received after June.

Can my retail license be renewed?

Wholesaler and distributor permit is issued for a period of one year and is renewed annually on 1st February in a calendar year.

Retailer permit is issued for a period of two years on the first day of June and can be renewed by the comptroller office by issuing a notice of renewal to the retailer

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

There is a penalty for non-payment of the permit fee and not applying for renewal of permit. An amount of $50 is charged for non-compliance.

Should I apply for a separate permit for each location?

Yes, you have to apply for a separate cigarette and other tobacco retail permit for each separate retail location, storage location, vending machine from which tobacco products are to be sold.

Can my retail permit be revoked or suspended?

Your retail permit can be revoked or suspended by the comptroller on non-compliance with any of the orders issued by the State office. If a retailer failed to provide required information or sell tobacco products from a business location which is not suitable enough to sell the same, his license will be revoked.

What are the other licenses and permits do I need?

You will be needing a sales tax permit in addition to retail permit for selling tobacco products from each separate location. Sales tax permit can be applied by filing an application AP-201 Texas application. It is the State mandatory requirement to obtain this license to retail permit.

What are the responsibilities of cigarette and tobacco products retailer?

  • The retailer should make his sales and all other records available for inspection for a period of at least four years.
  • Retailers must post cigarettes and tobacco products warning signs or stickers on the place and locations where they can be easily seen by customers.
  • Retailers of sales tax must collect the report and submit sales tax on all sales of cigarettes, cigars and tobacco products either monthly, quarterly or yearly depending upon the sales volume.

What are the fines and penalties for selling tobacco products to a minor?

Any person selling or giving or causing to be sold or given any cigarettes or other tobacco products to a person who is less than 18 years of age is criminally responsible for the offence and is subject to prosecution in the State.

What are the tax rates on tobacco products?

Cigarettes: $1.41 per pack of 20 cigarettes. Cigars:

  • The rate is one cent per 10 or fraction of 10 on cigars weighing less than three pounds per thousand;
  • The rate is $7.50 to $15 per 1,000 on cigars that weigh more than three pounds per thousand depending on their factory list price and whether they contain a substantial amount of non-tobacco ingredients;
Other tobacco products: The rate is $1.22 per ounce and a proportionate rate on all fractional parts of an ounce.

What is delivery sale?

Delivery Sale means the sale of cigarettes to a consumer in the State of Texas in which the purchaser submits the order for the sale by means of telephone or by using the mail or any other delivery service, or through the Internet or other on-line service. A sale of cigarettes is a delivery sale, regardless of whether the seller is located within or outside Texas.

What are the requirements for the Delivery sale in the State of Texas?

Any person who is making a retail sale by telephone or mail order or via internet to a customer in Texas should establish that the prospective customer is above 18 years of age. For this purpose, the retailer has to get a signed statement showing the purchaser address and date of birth.

Before making a delivery sale or shipping tobacco products, the retailer must file a statement with the Texas Comptroller office, giving its name and trade name, business location, telephone number and email address.

A monthly return needs to be filed on 10th of every month with the Comptroller office mentioning the details of sales made during the month along with the name, address, telephone number and email address of the buyer.

What are the return filing requirements in the State of Texas?

Every wholesaler and distributors of the tobacco products are required to report their ‘sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to the retailer’ on a prescribed form 69-100 and 69-133.

This report is required to be submitted electronically to the Comptroller Office, Texas on the 25th of every month following the reporting period. The following details are required to be provided on the report:

  • Name of the retailer
  • Complete address of the retail outlet locations to which wholesalers and distributors deliver tobacco products.
  • Tax payer number
  • Tobacco products permit number for each retail location.
  • Details of the number of sales made in each month by wholesalers and distributors.
If a person fails to file a report required by the Comptroller Office or fails to file a complete report, the comptroller may suspend or cancel one or more permits issued to the person and may impose a civil or criminal penalty, or both.



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