(35 ILCS 135/3) (from Ch. 120, par. 453.33)
    Sec. 3. Stamp payment. The tax hereby imposed shall be collected by a distributor maintaining a place of business in this State or a distributor authorized by the Department pursuant to Section 7 hereof to collect the tax, and the amount of the tax shall be added to the price of the cigarettes sold by such distributor. Collection of the tax shall be evidenced by a stamp or stamps affixed to each original package of cigarettes or by an authorized substitute for such stamp imprinted on each original package of such cigarettes underneath the sealed transparent outside wrapper of such original package, except as hereinafter provided. Each distributor who is required or authorized to collect the tax herein imposed, before delivering or causing to be delivered any original packages of cigarettes in this State to any purchaser, shall firmly affix a proper stamp or stamps to each such package, or (in the case of manufacturers of cigarettes in original packages which are contained inside a sealed transparent wrapper) shall imprint the required language on the original package of cigarettes beneath such outside wrapper as hereinafter provided. Such stamp or stamps need not be affixed to the original package of any cigarettes with respect to which the distributor is required to affix a like stamp or stamps by virtue of the Cigarette Tax Act, however, and no tax imprint need be placed underneath the sealed transparent wrapper of an original package of cigarettes with respect to which the distributor is required or authorized to employ a like tax imprint by virtue of the Cigarette Tax Act.
    No stamp or imprint may be affixed to, or made upon, any package of cigarettes unless that package complies with all requirements of the federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, 15 U.S.C. 1331 and following, for the placement of labels, warnings, or any other information upon a package of cigarettes that is sold within the United States. Under the authority of Section 6, the Department shall revoke the license of any distributor that is determined to have violated this paragraph. A person may not affix a stamp on a package of cigarettes, cigarette papers, wrappers, or tubes if that individual package has been marked for export outside the United States with a label or notice in compliance with Section 290.185 of Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations. It is not a defense to a proceeding for violation of this paragraph that the label or notice has been removed, mutilated, obliterated, or altered in any manner.
    Only distributors licensed under this Act and transporters, as defined in Section 9c of the Cigarette Tax Act, may possess unstamped original packages of cigarettes. Prior to shipment to an Illinois retailer or secondary distributor, a stamp shall be applied to each original package of cigarettes sold to the retailer or secondary distributor. A distributor may apply a tax stamp only to an original package of cigarettes purchased or obtained directly from an in-state maker, manufacturer, or fabricator licensed as a distributor under Section 4 of this Act or an out-of-state maker, manufacturer, or fabricator holding a permit under Section 7 of this Act. A licensed distributor may ship or otherwise cause to be delivered unstamped original packages of cigarettes in, into, or from this State. A licensed distributor may transport unstamped original packages of cigarettes to a facility, wherever located, owned or controlled by such distributor; however, a distributor may not transport unstamped original packages of cigarettes to a facility where retail sales of cigarettes take place or to a facility where a secondary distributor makes sales for resale. Any licensed distributor that ships or otherwise causes to be delivered unstamped original packages of cigarettes into, within, or from this State shall ensure that the invoice or equivalent documentation and the bill of lading or freight bill for the shipment identifies the true name and address of the consignor or seller, the true name and address of the consignee or purchaser, and the quantity by brand style of the cigarettes so transported, provided that this Section shall not be construed as to impose any requirement or liability upon any common or contract carrier.
    Distributors making sales of cigarettes to secondary distributors shall add the amount of the tax to the price of the cigarettes sold by the distributors. Secondary distributors making sales of cigarettes to retailers shall include the amount of the tax in the price of the cigarettes sold to retailers. The amount of tax shall not be less than the amount of taxes imposed by the State and all local jurisdictions. The amount of local taxes shall be calculated based on the location of the retailer's place of business shown on the retailer's certificate of registration or sub-registration issued to the retailer pursuant to Section 2a of the Retailers' Occupation Tax Act. The original packages of cigarettes sold by the retailer shall bear all the required stamps, or other indicia, for the taxes included in the price of cigarettes.
    Stamps, when required hereunder, shall be purchased from the Department, or any person authorized by the Department, by distributors. On and after July 1, 2003, payment for such stamps must be made by means of electronic funds transfer. The Department may refuse to sell stamps to any person who does not comply with the provisions of this Act. Beginning on June 6, 2002 and through June 30, 2002, persons holding valid licenses as distributors may purchase cigarette tax stamps up to an amount equal to 115% of the distributor's average monthly cigarette tax stamp purchases over the 12 calendar months prior to June 6, 2002.
    Prior to December 1, 1985, the Department shall allow a distributor 21 days in which to make final payment of the amount to be paid for such stamps, by allowing the distributor to make payment for the stamps at the time of purchasing them with a draft which shall be in such form as the Department prescribes, and which shall be payable within 21 days thereafter: Provided that such distributor has filed with the Department, and has received the Department's approval of, a bond, which is in addition to the bond required under Section 4 of this Act, payable to the Department in an amount equal to 80% of such distributor's average monthly tax liability to the Department under this Act during the preceding calendar year or $500,000, whichever is less. The bond shall be joint and several and shall be in the form of a surety company bond in such form as the Department prescribes, or it may be in the form of a bank certificate of deposit or bank letter of credit. The bond shall be conditioned upon the distributor's payment of the amount of any 21-day draft which the Department accepts from that distributor for the delivery of stamps to that distributor under this Act. The distributor's failure to pay any such draft, when due, shall also make such distributor automatically liable to the Department for a penalty equal to 25% of the amount of such draft.
    On and after December 1, 1985 and until July 1, 2003, the Department shall allow a distributor 30 days in which to make final payment of the amount to be paid for such stamps, by allowing the distributor to make payment for the stamps at the time of purchasing them with a draft which shall be in such form as the Department prescribes, and which shall be payable within 30 days thereafter, and beginning on January 1, 2003 and thereafter, the draft shall be payable by means of electronic funds transfer: Provided that such distributor has filed with the Department, and has received the Department's approval of, a bond, which is in addition to the bond required under Section 4 of this Act, payable to the Department in an amount equal to 150% of such distributor's average monthly tax liability to the Department under this Act during the preceding calendar year or $750,000, whichever is less, except that as to bonds filed on or after January 1, 1987, such additional bond shall be in an amount equal to 100% of such distributor's average monthly tax liability under this Act during the preceding calendar year or $750,000, whichever is less. The bond shall be joint and several and shall be in the form of a surety company bond in such form as the Department prescribes, or it may be in the form of a bank certificate of deposit or bank letter of credit. The bond shall be conditioned upon the distributor's payment of the amount of any 30-day draft which the Department accepts from that distributor for the delivery of stamps to that distributor under this Act. The distributor's failure to pay any such draft, when due, shall also make such distributor automatically liable to the Department for a penalty equal to 25% of the amount of such draft.
    Every prior continuous compliance taxpayer shall be exempt from all requirements under this Section concerning the furnishing of such bond, as defined in this Section, as a condition precedent to his being authorized to engage in the business licensed under this Act. This exemption shall continue for each such taxpayer until such time as he may be determined by the Department to be delinquent in the filing of any returns, or is determined by the Department (either through the Department's issuance of a final assessment which has become final under the Act, or by the taxpayer's filing of a return which admits tax to be due that is not paid) to be delinquent or deficient in the paying of any tax under this Act, at which time that taxpayer shall become subject to the bond requirements of this Section and, as a condition of being allowed to continue to engage in the business licensed under this Act, shall be required to furnish bond to the Department in such form as provided in this Section. Such taxpayer shall furnish such bond for a period of 2 years, after which, if the taxpayer has not been delinquent in the filing of any returns, or delinquent or deficient in the paying of any tax under this Act, the Department may reinstate such person as a prior continuance compliance taxpayer. Any taxpayer who fails to pay an admitted or established liability under this Act may also be required to post bond or other acceptable security with the Department guaranteeing the payment of such admitted or established liability.
    Except as otherwise provided in this Section, any person aggrieved by any decision of the Department under this Section may, within the time allowed by law, protest and request a hearing before the Department, whereupon the Department shall give notice and shall hold a hearing in conformity with the provisions of this Act and then issue its final administrative decision in the matter to such person. Effective July 1, 2013, protests concerning matters that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Illinois Independent Tax Tribunal shall be filed in accordance with the Illinois Independent Tax Tribunal Act of 2012, and hearings concerning those matters shall be held before the Tribunal in accordance with that Act. With respect to protests filed with the Department prior to July 1, 2013 that would otherwise be subject to the jurisdiction of the Illinois Independent Tax Tribunal, the person filing the protest may elect to be subject to the provisions of the Illinois Independent Tax Tribunal Act of 2012 at any time on or after July 1, 2013, but not later than 30 days after the date on which the protest was filed. If made, the election shall be irrevocable. In the absence of such a protest filed within the time allowed by law, the Department's decision shall become final without any further determination being made or notice given.
    The Department shall discharge any surety and shall release and return any bond or security deposited, assigned, pledged, or otherwise provided to it by a taxpayer under this Section within 30 days after:
        (1) such Taxpayer becomes a prior continuous
    
compliance taxpayer; or
        (2) such taxpayer has ceased to collect receipts on
    
which he is required to remit tax to the Department, has filed a final tax return, and has paid to the Department an amount sufficient to discharge his remaining tax liability as determined by the Department under this Act. The Department shall make a final determination of the taxpayer's outstanding tax liability as expeditiously as possible after his final tax return has been filed. If the Department cannot make such final determination within 45 days after receiving the final tax return, within such period it shall so notify the taxpayer, stating its reasons therefor.
    At the time of purchasing such stamps from the Department when purchase is required by this Act, or at the time when the tax which he has collected is remitted by a distributor to the Department without the purchase of stamps from the Department when that method of remitting the tax that has been collected is required or authorized by this Act, the distributor shall be allowed a discount during any year commencing July 1 and ending the following June 30 in accordance with the schedule set out hereinbelow, from the amount to be paid by him to the Department for such stamps, or to be paid by him to the Department on the basis of monthly remittances (as the case may be), to cover the cost, to such distributor, of collecting the tax herein imposed by affixing such stamps to the original packages of cigarettes sold by such distributor or by placing tax imprints underneath the sealed transparent wrapper of original packages of cigarettes sold by such distributor (as the case may be): (1) Prior to December 1, 1985, a discount equal to 1-2/3% of the amount of the tax up to and including the first $700,000 paid hereunder by such distributor to the Department during any such year; 1-1/3% of the next $700,000 of tax or any part thereof, paid hereunder by such distributor to the Department during any such year; 1% of the next $700,000 of tax, or any part thereof, paid hereunder by such distributor to the Department during any such year; and 2/3 of 1% of the amount of any additional tax paid hereunder by such distributor to the Department during any such year or (2) On and after December 1, 1985, a discount equal to 1.75% of the amount of the tax payable under this Act up to and including the first $3,000,000 paid hereunder by such distributor to the Department during any such year and 1.5% of the amount of any additional tax paid hereunder by such distributor to the Department during any such year.
    Two or more distributors that use a common means of affixing revenue tax stamps or that are owned or controlled by the same interests shall be treated as a single distributor for the purpose of computing the discount.
    Cigarette manufacturers who are distributors under Section 7(a) of this Act, and who place their cigarettes in original packages which are contained inside a sealed transparent wrapper, shall be required to remit the tax which they are required to collect under this Act to the Department by remitting the amount thereof to the Department by the 5th day of each month, covering cigarettes shipped or otherwise delivered to points in Illinois to purchasers during the preceding calendar month, but a distributor need not remit to the Department the tax so collected by him from purchasers under this Act to the extent to which such distributor is required to remit the tax imposed by the Cigarette Tax Act to the Department with respect to the same cigarettes. All taxes upon cigarettes under this Act are a direct tax upon the retail consumer and shall conclusively be presumed to be precollected for the purpose of convenience and facility only. Cigarette manufacturers that are distributors licensed under Section 7(a) of this Act and who place their cigarettes in original packages which are contained inside a sealed transparent wrapper, before delivering such cigarettes or causing such cigarettes to be delivered in this State to purchasers, shall evidence their obligation to collect and remit the tax due with respect to such cigarettes by imprinting language to be prescribed by the Department on each original package of such cigarettes underneath the sealed transparent outside wrapper of such original package, in such place thereon and in such manner as the Department may prescribe; provided (as stated hereinbefore) that this requirement does not apply when such distributor is required or authorized by the Cigarette Tax Act to place the tax imprint provided for in the last paragraph of Section 3 of that Act underneath the sealed transparent wrapper of such original package of cigarettes. Such imprinted language shall acknowledge the manufacturer's collection and payment of or liability for the tax imposed by this Act with respect to such cigarettes.
    The Department shall adopt the design or designs of the tax stamps and shall procure the printing of such stamps in such amounts and denominations as it deems necessary to provide for the affixation of the proper amount of tax stamps to each original package of cigarettes.
    Where tax stamps are required, the Department may authorize distributors to affix revenue tax stamps by imprinting tax meter stamps upon original packages of cigarettes. The Department shall adopt rules and regulations relating to the imprinting of such tax meter stamps as will result in payment of the proper taxes as herein imposed. No distributor may affix revenue tax stamps to original packages of cigarettes by imprinting meter stamps thereon unless such distributor has first obtained permission from the Department to employ this method of affixation. The Department shall regulate the use of tax meters and may, to assure the proper collection of the taxes imposed by this Act, revoke or suspend the privilege, theretofore granted by the Department to any distributor, to imprint tax meter stamps upon original packages of cigarettes.
    The tax hereby imposed and not paid pursuant to this Section shall be paid to the Department directly by any person using such cigarettes within this State, pursuant to Section 12 hereof.
    A distributor shall not affix, or cause to be affixed, any stamp or imprint to a package of cigarettes, as provided for in this Section, if the tobacco product manufacturer, as defined in Section 10 of the Tobacco Product Manufacturers' Escrow Act, that made or sold the cigarettes has failed to become a participating manufacturer, as defined in subdivision (a)(1) of Section 15 of the Tobacco Product Manufacturers' Escrow Act, or has failed to create a qualified escrow fund for any cigarettes manufactured by the tobacco product manufacturer and sold in this State or otherwise failed to bring itself into compliance with subdivision (a)(2) of Section 15 of the Tobacco Product Manufacturers' Escrow Act.
(Source: P.A. 96-782, eff. 1-1-10; 96-1027, eff. 7-12-10; 97-1129, eff. 8-28-12.)