Cigarette Inventory Tax on April 1, 2023
Excise Duty Notice EDN87
This notice provides information about the cigarette inventory tax imposed on duty-paid and special-duty-paid cigarettes held in inventory at 12:01 am on April 1, 2023.
Except as otherwise noted, all statutory references in this publication are to the provisions of the Excise Act, 2001. The information in this publication does not replace the law found in the Act and its regulations.
If this information does not completely address your particular situation, you may refer to the Act or relevant regulation, or contact your CRA regional excise office for additional information. The offices are listed at Contact Information – Excise and Specialty Tax Directorate.
An annual cigarette inventory tax applies to cigarettes held in inventory at 12:01 am on April 1. If you own cigarettes that will be for sale in the ordinary course of your business, you must determine your inventory of cigarettes at the beginning of the day on April 1, 2023, in order to calculate the amount of cigarette inventory tax payable.
The cigarette inventory tax for April 1, 2023, is $0.00938 per cigarette ($1.876 per carton of 200 cigarettes). It applies to:
- duty-paid cigarettes (that is, cigarettes on which excise duty has been paid, as indicated by Duty Paid Canada Droit Acquitté on the affixed tobacco excise stamp)
- imported unstamped cigarettes on which special duty was paid by a duty free shop
Cigarette includes any roll or tubular construction intended for smoking, other than a cigar or a tobacco stick.
The rates of excise duty on tobacco products are adjusted every year on April 1 based on changes to the Consumer Price Index. Refer to Excise Duty Notice EDN86, Adjusted Rates of Excise Duty on Tobacco Products Effective April 1, 2023, for more information about the excise duty rate adjustments for 2023.
The cigarette inventory tax is calculated on duty-paid and special-duty-paid cigarettes held in inventory at 12:01 am on April 1, 2023.
If you own cigarettes that will be for sale in the ordinary course of your business, and you are an individual, a partnership, a corporation, a trust, the estate of a deceased individual, a government, or a body that is a society, a union, a club, an association, a commission, or another organization of any kind, you must determine your inventory of cigarettes at the beginning of the day on April 1, 2023, in order to calculate the amount of cigarette inventory tax payable.
Inventories must be determined in a fair and reasonable manner. This may include a physical count and must be supported by appropriate books and records.
Exemption for small retail inventory
A separate retail establishment holding 30,000 or fewer cigarettes is not required to report or pay the cigarette inventory tax. Separate retail establishment means a shop or store that is:
- geographically separate from your other places of business
- where you regularly sell cigarettes to consumers attending the shop or store
- a retail establishment for which separate records are maintained (the records do not need to be physically kept on site at the shop or store)
30,000 cigarettes equal 150 cartons of 200 cigarettes per carton.
Section 87 of the Indian Act provides a tax exemption for the personal property of an IndianFootnote 1 or an Indian band situated on a reserve. Indian individuals, partnerships of Indian individuals, and Indian bands owning cigarettes located on a reserve are not required to pay the cigarette inventory tax. However, if a corporation owns cigarettes situated on a reserve, the tax exemption does not apply and the cigarette inventory tax is payable.
Reporting and paying the cigarette inventory tax
If you are liable to report and pay the cigarette inventory tax on April 1, 2023, you must file Form B273, Excise Return – Cigarette Inventory Tax, and submit your payment no later than May 31, 2023.
You can file Form B273 and make a payment using My Business Account, which provides immediate confirmation that your return or payment has been received by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). To register for My Business Account, go to My Business Account or call the CRA’s Business Enquiries line at 1‑800‑959‑5525.
To file Form B273 online, sign in to My Business Account, go to your excise duty account and click on “File a return”. Select “B273 Excise Return – Cigarette Inventory Tax”, then enter the quantities of cartons and packages of cigarettes in your inventory as instructed. The CRA will automatically calculate the total number of cigarettes in your inventory and the amount of cigarette inventory tax payable.
If you choose to file Form B273 on paper:
- enter 2023 in box 2, “Reporting period (YYYY0401)”
- enter 2023 in box 3, “Due date (YYYY0531)”
- enter $0.00938 in the “Tax rate (Per cigarette)” column of the table under section 6, “Tax calculation”
- follow the instructions on page 2 to complete the rest of the information required
- mail your completed Form B273 to the address indicated on the form
Separate branches or divisions
GST/HST registrants that elected to file returns as separate branches or divisions may also file a separate Form B273 for each branch or division.
For all technical publications related to the Excise Act, 2001 and its regulations, go to Excise duties technical information under the Excise Act, 2001
To make a general or technical enquiry on excise duties or to request a ruling or interpretation related to excise duties, go to Contact Information – Excise and Specialty Tax Directorate.
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