Richmond VA > Finance > Directory

Last Updated: 2020-02-18

The Cigarette Tax is a tax levied and collected by sellers and dealers of packaged cigarettes. The tax is imposed through the purchasing of stamps by sellers and dealers which must be affixed to cigarette packs if they are to be sold in the City of Richmond. The current tax rate for cigarettes is $0.025 per cigarette or $0.50 per pack of twenty cigarettes.



Is there a floor tax associated with the cigarette tax?

Yes. As of July 1, 2019 all cigarettes sold within the city limits of Richmond must have a locality stamp supplied by the City of Richmond. Distributors are purchasing heat applied stamps and retailers will see these in the near future. However, retailers must buy stick on stamps for cigarette packages that do not have heat applied stamps.

Where can I obtain cigarette tax stamps?

Every dealer and seller in the city shall have the right to buy such stamps from the Director of Finance and to affix the same to packages of cigarettes. These stamps can be purchased via mail using the distributor or retailer form or can be purchased in person from the following location:

  • City Hall – 900 E. Broad Street, Room 102

What forms of payment are accepted for cigarette tax stamps?

Payment for cigarette tax stamps is accepted in a variety of forms including personal or business checks, cashiers’ checks, cash, credit/debit cards, and wire transfer. Please note that personal or business checks must clear prior to order fulfilment – if you require cigarette tax stamps immediately another form of payment is preferred.

What is defined as a cigarette or package?

A cigarette means any slender roll of cut tobacco enclosed in paper and meant to be smoked. A package (more colloquially referred to as a pack) means any box, can, or other container of any cigarettes, regardless of the material from which such container is made, to which the internal revenue stamp of the United States government is required or was formerly required to be affixed and in which retail sales of such cigarettes are normally made or intended to be made.

As a dealer or seller, what does this mean for my cigarette inventory and record keeping?

Every local dealer and seller shall maintain and keep, for a period of two years, records, books, and invoices of cigarettes sold and delivered by such dealer or seller. These records, books, and invoices of cigarettes sold must be made available to the Finance Department, upon demand, at all reasonable times. Every local dealer and seller must make any and all of its cigarettes available for examination at any location where the same are placed, stored, sold, offered for sale, or displayed for sale.

Is there a penalty for nonpayment of the cigarette tax?

Yes. For any amount of the imposed tax found to be overdue and unpaid there will be a penalty of ten percent as well as interest due on the total amount of nine percent per year. In addition, if the Finance Department discovers any cigarettes, in quantities of more than six cartons, within the city that are subject to the cigarette tax and do not have affixed cigarette tax stamps, the Finance Department may seize such cigarettes. These cigarettes will be deemed forfeited to the City and, after notice, subject to sale. No credit from such sale shall be allowed towards any tax or penalties and interests owed.

Any person violating any provision of the City of Richmond cigarette tax ordinance shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.


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