Nebraska

Alerts & Updates

Key Contacts

Nebraska Department of Revenue
(402) 471-5729

Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission (NADC)
(402) 471-2522

PCA Contact

Brett Mecum brett@premiumcigars.org

Taxation

Nebraska imposes a Tobacco Products Tax on the first owner of tobacco products to be sold in the state. The “first owner” is any person who:

  1. Engaged in the business of selling tobacco products in Nebraska who brings or causes to be brought into the state any tobacco products for sale in Nebraska, including a retailer who purchases directly from suppliers outside the state who are not licensed in Nebraska
  2. Makes, manufactures, or fabricates tobacco products in Nebraska for sale in the state; or
  3. Engaged in business outside Nebraska who ships or transports tobacco products to retailers in the state and who becomes licensed in Nebraska.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-4008

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-4004

Staff reported that tobacco dealers may be subject to additional local tobacco product taxes.

The tax on snuff is $0.44 per ounce and a proportionate tax on all fractional parts of an ounce computed based on the net weight as listed by the manufacturer. The tax on tobacco products other than snuff is 20% of (1) the purchase price of the tobacco products paid by the first owner; or (2) the price at which a first owner who made, manufactured, or fabricated the tobacco product sells the items to others.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-4008

The first owner of tobacco products must file a Nebraska Tobacco Products Tax Return (Form 56) and Schedules I and II on or before the 10th day of each month, along with payment for taxes due.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-4014

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
Nebraska Department of Revenue: Cigarettes & Other Tobacco ProductsCigarettes & OTP
Nebraska Tobacco Products Tax ReturnForm 56
Tobacco Products Other than Snuff Imported or Manufactured and ExportedForm 56, Schedule I
Snuff Imported or Manufactured and ExportedForm 56, Schedule II

Cigar and Smoking Tobacco Definitions

Smoking” or “smoke” means the lighting of any cigarette, cigar, pipe, or other smoking material, or the possession of any lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe, or other smoking material, regardless of its composition.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-5727

Tobacco products” means: cigars; cheroots; stogies; periques; granulated, plug cut, crimp cut, ready rubbed, and other smoking tobacco; snuff; snuff flour; Cavendish; plug and twist tobacco; fine cut and other chewing tobacco; shorts, refuse scraps, clippings, cuttings, and sweepings of tobacco; and other kinds and forms of tobacco, prepared in such manner as to be suitable for chewing or smoking in a pipe or otherwise or both for chewing and smoking, but tobacco products does not mean cigarettes.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-4007

Cigarette” is any product that contains nicotine and is intended to be burned or heated under ordinary conditions of use and contains: 

  • Any roll of tobacco wrapped in paper or in any substance not containing tobacco; 
  • Tobacco, in any form, that is functional in the product, which because of its appearance, the type of tobacco used in the filler, or its packaging, is likely to be offered to, or purchased by, consumers as a cigarette; or 
  • Any roll of tobacco wrapped in any substance containing tobacco which because of its appearance, the type of tobacco used in the filler, or its packaging, is likely to be offered to, or purchased by, consumers as a cigarette

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-4005.01

Snuff” is any finely cut, ground, or powdered tobacco that is not intended to be smoked.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-4005.01

Smokeless tobacco” is (1) loose tobacco or a flat compressed cake of tobacco that may be chewed or held in the mouth; or (2) a small amount of shredded, powdered, or pulverized tobacco that may be inhaled through the nostrils chewed or held in the mouth.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 69-1902

The “first owner” is any person: 

  • engaged in the business of selling tobacco products in Nebraska who brings or causes to be brought into the state any tobacco products for sale in Nebraska, including a retailer who purchases directly from suppliers outside the state who are not licensed in Nebraska;
  • who makes, manufactures, or fabricates tobacco products in Nebraska for sale in the state; or
  • engaged in business outside Nebraska who ships or transports tobacco products to retailers in the state and who becomes licensed in Nebraska

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-4004

A “tobacco specialty store” is a retail store that: derives at least 75% of its revenue from tobacco products, tobacco-derived products, vapor products, or alternative nicotine products; and does not permit minors under 18 years of age to enter the premises unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1418.01

Alternative nicotine product” means any noncombustible product containing nicotine that is intended for human consumption, whether chewed, absorbed, dissolved, or ingested by any other means.

Nebraska LB 149 (2019)

Electronic nicotine delivery system” means any product or device containing nicotine, tobacco, or tobacco derivatives that employs a heating element, power source, electronic circuit, or other electronic, chemical, or mechanical means, regardless of shape or size, to simulate smoking by delivering the nicotine, tobacco, or tobacco derivatives in vapor, fog, mist, gas, or aerosol form to a person inhaling from the product or device. Electronic nicotine delivery system includes, but is not limited  to, the following:

  1. Any substance containing nicotine, tobacco, or tobacco  derivatives, whether sold separately or sold in combination with a product or device that is intended to deliver to person nicotine, tobacco, or tobacco derivatives in vapor, fog, mist, gas, or aerosol form;
  2. Any product or device marketed, manufactured, distributed, or  sold as an electronic cigarette, electronic cigar, electronic cigarillo, electronic pipe, electronic hookah, or similar products, names, descriptors, or devices; and
  3. Any component, part, or accessory of such a product or device that is used during operation of the product or device when sold in combination with any substance containing nicotine, tobacco, or tobacco derivatives.

Nebraska LB 149 (2019)

Restrictions

Nebraska law prohibits smoking in: places of employment, including work areas, employee break rooms, restrooms, conference rooms, meeting rooms, classrooms, employee cafeterias, hallways, and private residences used as childcare programs, during hours of operation; and public places, meaning indoor areas to which the public is invited or in which the public is permitted, whether or not the public is always invited or permitted.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-5729: Smoking in place of employment or public place prohibited

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-5724: Place of employment, defined

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-5726: Public place, defined

Nebraska law contains no specific provisions concerning state preemption of local smoking laws, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances in this area.

The following are exempt from the ban on smoking, subject to conditions:

  • Designated guest rooms in a lodging establishment
  • Indoor areas used in connection with a research study on the health effects of smoking, conducted in a scientific or analytical laboratory
  • **Tobacco retail outlets, meaning stores that sell only tobacco and products directly related to tobacco. Products directly related to tobacco do not include alcohol, coffee, soft drinks, candy, groceries, or gasoline
  • **Cigar bars, meaning establishments operated by a holder of a Class C liquor license which:
    1. do not sell food;
    2. annually receive 10% or more of their gross revenue from the sale of cigars and other tobacco products and tobacco-related products;
    3. have walk-in humidors on the premises; and
    4. do not permit the smoking of cigarettes.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-5730: Exemptions

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-5728: Tobacco retail outlet, defined

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 53-103.08: Cigar bar, defined


The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that the exemptions for tobacco retail outlets and cigar bars constitute unconstitutional special legislation and are therefore invalid. The Nebraska Legislature passed a bill that clarifies its intent in allowing this exemption and differentiates cigar and pipe tobacco use from general cigarette use.

Big John’s Billiards, Inc. v. Nebraska, 288 Neb. 938, 948-50 (2014)

Nebraska Legislative Bill 118

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-5730: Exemptions; legislative findings; legislative intent

Nebraska LB 149 (2019) prohibits the sale or furnishing of tobacco, cigarettes, electronic nicotine delivery systems, or alternative nicotine products to any person under 19 years of age. This measure prohibits tobacco specialty stores from allowing persons under the age of 19 to enter the premises unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. This measure also prohibits the sale or distribution of cigarettes, cigars, electronic nicotine delivery systems, alternative nicotine products, or tobacco in any form through a self-service display.

In Nebraska, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, or their representatives cannot distribute smokeless tobacco products for promotional purposes.

Smokeless tobacco is defined as (1) loose tobacco or a flat compressed cake of tobacco that may be chewed or held in the mouth; or (2) a small amount of shredded, powdered, or pulverized tobacco that may be inhaled through the nostrils chewed or held in the mouth.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 69-1903

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 69-1902


It is also illegal for any person to sell, give, or furnish in any way any tobacco in any form whatever to any minor under 19 years of age.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1419


Nebraska law contains no specific provisions concerning state preemption of local tobacco sampling laws, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances in this area.

Operating Your Business

Every person engaging in business as a retailer in Nebraska must first obtain a Sales Tax Permit by submitting a Nebraska Tax Application (Form 20). Each first owner of tobacco products to be sold in Nebraska must then obtain a Tobacco Products License for each place of business from the Nebraska Tax Commissioner by filing a Nebraska Cigarette and Tobacco Products License and Registration Application (Form 20CT) and paying a $25 licensing fee. Tobacco Products Licenses remain in effect unless the license is revoked, canceled, or suspended.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-4009

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-4010


The first owner of tobacco products must also file a Nebraska Tobacco Products Tax Return (Form 56) and Schedules I and II on or before the 10th day of each month, along with payment for taxes due.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-4014


Localities may require additional business licenses.

Nebraska LB 149 (2019) makes it unlawful for any person, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation to sell, keep for sale, or give away in course of trade, any cigars, tobacco, electronic nicotine delivery systems, cigarettes, or cigarette material to anyone without first obtaining a license.

The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that the exemptions for tobacco retail outlets and cigar bars constitute unconstitutional special legislation and are therefore invalid. The Nebraska Legislature passed a bill that clarifies its intent in allowing this exemption and differentiates cigar and pipe tobacco use from general cigarette use.

Big John’s Billiards, Inc. v. Nebraska, 288 Neb. 938, 948-50 (2014)

Nebraska Legislative Bill 118

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-5730: Exemptions; legislative findings; legislative intent 

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
Nebraska Sales Tax ApplicationForm 20
Nebraska Department of Revenue: Cigarettes & Other Tobacco ProductsCigarettes & OTP
Nebraska Cigarette and Tobacco Products License and Registration ApplicationForm 20CT
Nebraska Tobacco Products Tax ReturnForm 56
Tobacco Products Other than Snuff Imported or Manufactured and ExportedForm 56, Schedule I
Snuff Imported or Manufactured and ExportedForm 56, Schedule II

Political Involvement

A “lobbyist” is a person who is authorized to lobby on behalf of a principal and includes any officer, agent, attorney, or employee of the principal whose regular duties include lobbying.

A “principal” is a person who authorizes a lobbyist to lobby on behalf of that principal.

Lobbyist” or “principal” does not include

  • A public official or employee of a branch of state government, except the University of Nebraska, or an elected official of a political subdivision who is acting in the course or scope of his or her office or employment;
  • Any publisher, owner, or working member of the press, radio, or television while disseminating news or editorial comment to the general public in the ordinary course of business;
  • An employee of a principal or lobbyist whose duties are confined to typing, filing, and other types of clerical office work;
  • Any person who limits his or her activities to: appearances before legislative committees and who so advises the committee at the time of his or her appearance whom he or she represents or that he or she appears at the invitation of a named member of the Legislature or at the direction of the Governor; or writing letters or furnishing written material to individual members of the Legislature or to the committees thereof;
  • Any individual who does not engage in lobbying for another person; or
  • An employee of a political subdivision whose regular employment duties do not ordinarily include lobbying activities as long as such employee is not additionally compensated for such lobbying activities, other than his or her regular salary, and is not reimbursed for any lobbying expenditures except his or her travel, lodging, and meal expenses and the meal expenses for members of the Legislature.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 49-1434

Lobbying” means the practice of promoting or opposing for another person the introduction or enactment of legislation or resolutions before the Legislature or the committees or the members thereof and shall also include the practice of promoting or opposing executive approval of legislation or resolutions.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 49-1433

Every person employed, retained, or authorized as a lobbyist must, before commencing any lobbying activity, register with the Clerk of the Legislature by electronically filing the Lobbyist Registration form (Form A) and paying the appropriate application fee ($200 for compensated lobbyists; $15 for uncompensated lobbyists) on the Nebraska Lobbyist Reporting website. Registrations expire on December 31st of each year and must be renewed annually.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 49-1480

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 49-1480.01


Every registered lobbyist and principal must also electronically file a Lobbyist Quarterly Report (Form B) or Principal Quarterly Report (Form C) for each lobbying relationship within 30 days after the end of each quarter. 

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 49-1483


Any lobbyist or principal who receives or expends more than $5,000 for lobbying purposes during any calendar month in which the Legislature is in session must electronically file a Lobbyist Special Report (Form B-B) or Principal Special Report (Form C-C) within 15 days after the end of the month.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 49-1483.03


Within 45 days after the completion of every regular or special session of the Legislature, each registered lobbying must also electronically file a Lobbyist Statement of Activity NADC (Form D), listing the legislation upon which the lobbyist acted, including identification by a number of any bill or resolution and the position taken by the lobbyist.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 49-1488

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
Nebraska Legislature: Lobbyist Electronic Filing InstructionsLobbyist E-Filing Instructions
Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission (NADC): Lobbying FormsLobbying Forms

Shipping Regulations

A person outside of Nebraska who ships or transports tobacco products to any person in the state to be sold in the state may make an application for a license and be granted such a license by the Tax Commissioner. If a license is granted, such person shall be subject to the Tobacco Products Tax Act and shall be entitled to act as a licensee.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-4009(2): License required; when; application; contents.


Every person engaging in business as a retailer in Nebraska must first obtain a Sales Tax Permit by submitting a Nebraska Tax Application (Form 20). Each first owner of tobacco products to be sold in Nebraska must then obtain a Tobacco Products License for each place of business from the Nebraska Tax Commissioner by filing a Nebraska Cigarette and Tobacco Products License and Registration Application (Form 20CT) and paying a $25 licensing fee. Tobacco Products Licenses remain in effect unless the license is revoked, canceled, or suspended.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-4009

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-4010


Additional information about licensing in Nebraska is available under the Operating Your Business and Definitions tabs above.

Nebraska does not have any specific age verification requirements for the shipping of tobacco products. Sellers must comply with general age verification requirements.

Nebraska imposes a Tobacco Products Tax on the first owner of tobacco products to be sold in the state. The “first owner” is any person: (1) engaged in the business of selling tobacco products in Nebraska who brings or causes to be brought into the state any tobacco products for sale in Nebraska, including a retailer who purchases directly from suppliers outside the state who are not licensed in Nebraska; (2) who makes, manufactures, or fabricates tobacco products in Nebraska for sale in the state; or (3) engaged in business outside Nebraska who ships or transports tobacco products to retailers in the state and who becomes licensed in Nebraska. There are no additional tax requirements for the shipment of tobacco products. Sellers must pay all applicable taxes.

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-4008

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-4004

Additional information about taxation in Nebraska, including information about tax rates, filings, and forms, is available at the Taxation and Definitions link above.


Disclaimer: PCA believes the information on this site is accurate. However, tobacco laws and regulations are subject to frequent change and court interpretation. Statements above are not intended as legal advice or restatement of law. PCA does not guarantee or assume responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of this information, nor that this information complies with all federal laws or the laws of all 50 states. Parties acknowledge and agree it is not the intention of PCA to provide specific legal advice for particular individuals, but rather to provide users with general information to better understand these issues. Users shall neither construe any of these materials as legal advice nor make this site the primary basis for any legal decisions made by or on your behalf and agree to release and waive any claims against PCA for the same. You shall consult with legal advisors concerning any contemplated individual decision.