Utah

Alerts & Updates

Key Contacts

Utah State Tax Commission
            (801) 297-2200

Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office
(801) 538-1041
(801) 538-1133 fax
lobbyists@utah.gov

PCA Contact

Tyler Henson tyler@premiumcigars.org

Legislative Information

Taxation

Utah imposes a tax on the sale, use, or storage of tobacco products in the state. The tax must be paid by manufacturers, jobbers, distributors, wholesalers, or retailers who sell or distribute tobacco products in Utah. Consumers who purchase untaxed tobacco products subject to the tax are also liable for payment. 

Utah Code § 59-14-302: Tax basis; Rates 

Utah Code § 59-14-303: Remittance of tax; Returns; Invoice required; Filing requirements; Reports; Exceptions; Penalties; Overpayments 


Tax Commission staff reported that Utah localities do not levy additional taxes on tobacco products.

The tax on tobacco products except for moist snuff is 86% of the manufacturer’s sales price. The tax on moist snuff is $1.83 per ounce and a proportional tax on each fractional part, based on the net weight of the moist snuff as listed by the manufacturer.

Utah Code § 59-14-302: Tax basis; Rates

Tobacco products distributors must file a Tobacco Products Tax Return (Form TC-553) on or before the last day of the month following each calendar quarter, along with payment for taxes due. Consumers who purchase untaxed products subject to the tax are also liable for payment. Returns may be filed electronically through the Taxpayer Access Point.

Utah Code § 59-14-303: Remittance of tax; Returns; Invoice required; Filing requirements; Reports; Exceptions; Penalties; Overpayments

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
Utah State Tax Commission: Cigarette & Tobacco TaxesCigarette & Tobacco Taxes
Utah’s Taxpayer Access PointTaxpayer Access Point

Cigar and Smoking Tobacco Definitions

 “Smoking” means:

  • the possession of any lighted or heated tobacco product in any form;
  • inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, pipe, or hookah that contains;
    • tobacco or any plant product intended for inhalation;
    • shisha or non-tobacco shisha;
    • nicotine;
    •  a natural or synthetic tobacco substitute; or
    • a natural or synthetic flavored tobacco product;
  • using an e-cigarette; or
  • using an oral smoking device intended to circumvent the prohibition of smoking

Utah Code § 26-38-2(4)

Utah Code § 76-10-101(5)

Tobacco product” means a product made of, or containing, tobacco, including a cigarette produced from a cigarette rolling machine, a little cigar, or moist snuff, but does not include a cigarette.

Utah Code § 59-14-102(13)

Cigar” means a product that contains nicotine, is intended to be burned under ordinary conditions of use and consists of any roll of tobacco wrapped in leaf tobacco, or in any substance containing tobacco, other than any roll of tobacco that is a cigarette.

Utah Code § 76-10-101(1)

Moist snuff” means tobacco that:

  • Is finely:
    • Cut,
    • Ground, or
    • Powdered
  • Has at least 45% moisture content
  • Is not intended to be
    • Smoked, or
    • Placed in the nasal cavity, and
  • Except for single-use pouches of loose tobacco, is not packaged, produced, sold, or distributed in single-use units, including:
    • Tablets,
    • Lozenges,
    • Strips,
    • Sticks, or
    • Packages containing multiple single-use units

Utah Code § 59-14-102(10)

Restrictions

Utah law prohibits smoking in all enclosed indoor places of public access, including buildings, offices, shops, elevators, restrooms, means of transportation or common carrier waiting rooms, restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, taverns, cabarets, shopping malls, retail stores, grocery stores, arcades, libraries, theaters, concert halls, museums, art galleries, planetariums, historical sites, auditoriums, arenas, barber shops, hair salons, laundromats, sports or fitness facilities, common areas of nursing homes, hospitals, resorts, hotels, motels, “bed and breakfast” lodging facilities, and other similar lodging facilities, including the lobbies, hallways, elevators, restaurants, cafeterias, other designated dining areas, and restrooms, child care facilities, elementary or secondary school buildings and educational facilities or the property on which those facilities are located, any building owned, rented, leased, or otherwise operated by a social, fraternal, or religious organization when used solely by the organization members or their guests or families, any facility rented or leased for private functions from which the general public is excluded and arrangements for the function are under the control of the function sponsor, any workplace that is not a place of public access or a publicly owned building or office but has one or more employees who are not owner-operators of the business, any area where the proprietor or manager of the area has posted a conspicuous sign stating “no smoking”, “thank you for not smoking”, or similar statement, and a holder of a club license; and public owned buildings and offices.

Utah Code § 26-38-3: Restriction on smoking in public places and in specified places; Exceptions

Utah Code § 26-38-2:Definitions


The Utah Indoor Clean Air Act supersedes any ordinance enacted by the governing body of a political subdivision that restricts smoking in a place of public access and that is not essentially identical to the provisions of state law. However, the Act does not supersede an ordinance enacted by the governing body of a political subdivision that restricts smoking in outdoor places of public access that are owned or operated by:

  • A political subdivision,
  • A state institution of higher education, or
  • A state institution of public education

Utah Code § 26-38-6: Local ordinances

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

  • Areas not commonly open to the public of owner-operated businesses having no employees other than the owner-operator
  • Designated guest rooms in hotels, motels, bed and breakfast lodging facilities, and other similar lodging facilities
  • Separate, enclosed smoking areas:
    • located in the passenger terminals of an international airport located in the city of the first class;
    • vented directly to the outdoors; and
    • certified, by a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning engineer licensed by the state, to prevent the drift of any smoke to any nonsmoking area of the terminal
  • A person who:
    • is a member of an American Indian tribe whose members are recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to American Indians who are members of those tribes;
    • is an American Indian who actively practices an American Indian religion, the origin, and interpretation of which is from a traditional American Indian culture;
    • is smoking tobacco using the traditional pipe of an American Indian tribal religious ceremony, of which tribe the person is a member, and is smoking the pipe as part of that ceremony; and
    • the ceremony is conducted by a pipe carrier, Indian spiritual person, or medicine person recognized by the tribe of which the person is a member and the Indian community

Utah Code § 26-38-3: Restriction on smoking in public places and in specified places; Exceptions

Utah Code § 26-38-3.5: Smoking ban exemption for Native American ceremony


The building owner, agent, or operator of a temporarily exempt establishment must conspicuously post signs at all entrances or in a position clearly visible on entry into the place that is easily readable and not obscured in any way. The words must not be less than 1.5 inches in height. The signs must state “WARNING: There is no risk-free level of inhaling tobacco smoke or exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke. -U.S. Surgeon General.”

Utah Admin. Code R392-510-15: Signs required for a temporary exemption

Individuals under 19 years of age cannot buy or attempt to buy, accept, or have in their possession any cigar, cigarette, electronic cigarette, or tobacco in any form.  Additionally, the law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to individuals younger than 19 years of age.  The fine starts at $300 and escalates with repeated violations. It is also illegal to acquire, use, display, or transfer a false or altered driver license certificate or identification card to product tobacco or a tobacco product.

The smoking age will be increased to 21 beginning in 2021.

Utah Code § 76-10-105: Buying or possessing a cigar, cigarette, electronic cigarette, or tobacco by a minor; Penalty; Compliance officer

Utah Code § 53-3-229(3)(c): Prohibited uses of license certificate; Penalty

Utah Code § 53-3-810(2)(c): Prohibited uses of the identification card; Penalties

Utah Code §26-42-103: Violations and penalties — Imposition by enforcing agency and tax commission


Antidiscrimination & Labor Division staff reported that Utah law does not specify a minimum age to work in tobacco retail stores. Staff also reported that there is not a minimum age to work in Utah, but minors under 16 years are subject to certain time restrictions. 

It is illegal to knowingly, intentionally, recklessly, or with criminal negligence provide any cigar, cigarette, electronic cigarette, tobacco in any form, or tobacco paraphernalia to any person under 19 years of age. It is also illegal for the proprietor of any place of business to knowingly permit persons under 19 years of age to frequent a place of business while they are using tobacco.

Utah Code § 76-10-104: Providing a cigar, cigarette, electronic cigarette, or tobacco to a minor; Penalties

Utah Code § 76-10-104.1: Providing tobacco paraphernalia to minors; Penalties

Utah Code § 76-10-103: Permitting minors to use tobacco in place of business


Any ordinance, regulation, or rule adopted by the governing body of a political subdivision of the state or by a state agency that affects the sale, placement, or display of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars, cigarette tobacco, pipe tobacco, or smokeless tobacco that is not essentially identical to the provisions of state law is superseded.

Utah Code § 76-10-105.1(4): Requirement of direct, face-to-face sale of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes; Supremacy clause; Penalties

In Utah, it is illegal for a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer to give or distribute cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, or tobacco products without charge, except to adults at professional conventions where the general public is excluded and to persons of legal age upon their purchase of other tobacco products.

Utah Code § 76-10-111: Prohibition of gift or free distribution of smokeless tobacco or electronic cigarettes; Exceptions

Utah Code § 76-10-112: Prohibition of distribution of cigarettes or other tobacco products; Exceptions


State Tax Commission staff reported that the distribution of tobacco product samples is subject to the tax and licensing requirements.

Utah law contains no specific provision concerning state preemption of sampling, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances on tobacco sampling.

Operating Your Business

All manufacturers and distributors of all tobacco products who are responsible for the collection of tax on tobacco products, and all retailers of all tobacco products must register with the Utah State Tax Commission and obtain both a Sales and Use Tax License and a Cigarette and Tobacco License by filing the Utah State Business and Tax Registration (Form TC-69). There is an initial license fee of $30 per location, and distributors must also submit a Tobacco Tax Surety Bond (Form TC-763T) for at least $500. Cigarette and Tobacco Licenses are valid for 3 years from the date of issue and may be renewed electronically for $20 per location through the Taxpayer Access Point

Utah Code § 59-14-301: Registration and licensing; Fee; Bond exceptions

Utah Code § 59-14-202: Issuance of licenses; Common carrier licenses; Contents; Valid for three years; Revocation; Distribution requirements


Tobacco products distributors must file a Tobacco Products Tax Return (Form TC-553) on or before the last day of the month following each calendar quarter, along with payment for taxes due. Consumers who purchase untaxed products subject to the tax are also liable for payment. Returns may be filed electronically through the Taxpayer Access Point.

Utah Code § 59-14-303: Remittance of tax; Returns; Invoice required; Filing requirements; Reports; Exceptions; Penalties; Overpayments


Localities may require additional business licenses.

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
Utah State Tax Commission: Cigarette & Tobacco TaxesCigarette & Tobacco Taxes
Utah’s Taxpayer Access PointTaxpayer Access Point

Political Involvement

 “Lobbying” means communicating with a public official for the purpose of influencing the passage, defeat, amendment, or postponement of legislative or executive action.

Utah Code § 36-11-102(11)

Lobbyist” means:

  • an individual who is employed by a principal; or
  • an individual who contracts for economic consideration, other than reimbursement for reasonable travel expenses, with a principal to lobby a public official

Lobbyist” does not include:

  • a government official;
  • a member or employee of the legislative branch of state government;
  • a person, including a principal, while appearing at, or providing written comments to, a hearing conducted in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act or Title 63G, Chapter 4, Administrative Procedures Act;
  • a person participating in or appearing before an advisory or study task force, commission, board, or committee, constituted by the Legislature or any agency or department of state government, except legislative standing, appropriation, or interim committees;
  • a representative of a political party;
  • an individual representing a bona fide church solely for the purpose of protecting the right to practice the religious doctrines of the church, unless the individual or church makes an expenditure that confers a benefit on a public official;
  • a newspaper, television station or network, radio station or network, periodical of general circulation, or book publisher for the purpose of publishing news items, editorials, other comments, or paid advertisements that directly or indirectly urge legislative or executive action; 
  • an individual who appears on the individual’s own behalf before a committee of the Legislature or an agency of the executive branch of state government solely for the purpose of testifying in support of or in opposition to legislative or executive action; or 
  • an individual representing a business, entity or industry who: 
    • interacts with a public official, in the public official’s capacity as a public official, while accompanied by a registered lobbyist who is lobbying in relation to the submit of interaction or while presenting at a legislative committee meeting at the same time that the registered lobbyist is attending another legislative committee meeting; and 
    • does not make an expenditure for, or on behalf of, a public official in relation to the interaction or during the period of interaction. 

Utah Code § 36-11-102(14)

Principal” means a person that employs an individual to perform lobbying, either as an employee or as an independent contractor.

Utah Code § 36-11-102(18)

Legislative action” means:

  • a bill, resolution, amendment, nomination, veto override, or other matter pending or proposed in either house of the Legislature or its committees or requested by a legislator; and
  • the action of the governor in approving or vetoing legislation

Utah Code § 36-11-102(12)

Executive action” means:

  • a nomination or appointment by the governor;
  • the proposal, drafting, amendment, enactment, or defeat by a state agency of an administrative rule;
  • agency rate-making proceedings; or
  • an adjudicative proceeding of a state agency

Utah Code § 36-11-102(7)

Expenditure” means the following, when given to or for the benefit of a public official unless consideration of equal or greater value is received:

  • a purchase, payment, or distribution;
  • a loan, gift, or advance;
  • a deposit, subscription, or forbearance;
  • services or goods;
  • money;
  • real property;
  • a ticket or admission to a sporting, recreational, or artistic event; or
  • a contract, promise, or agreement, whether or not legally enforceable, to provide any of the above items

“Expenditure”does not mean: 

  • a commercially reasonable loan made in the ordinary course of business;
  • a campaign contribution reported in accordance with Title 20A, Chapter 11, Campaign and Financial Reporting Requirements
  • printed informational material that is related to the performance of the recipient’s official duties;
  • a devise or inheritance;
  • any item listed in Subsection (8)(a) if: 
    • given by a relative;
    • given by a compensation payor for a purpose solely unrelated to the public official’s position as a public official;
    • the item is food or beverage with a value that does not exceed the food reimbursement rate, and the aggregate daily expenditures for food and beverage do not exceed the food reimbursement rate; or
    • the item is not food or beverage, has a value of less than $10, and the aggregate daily expenditures do not exceed $10;
  • food or beverage that is provided at an event, a tour, or a meeting to which the following are invited: 
    • all members of the Legislature;
    • all members of a standing or interim committee;
    • all members of an official legislative task force;
    • all members of a party caucus; or
    • all members of a group described in Subsections (8)(b)(vi)(A) through (D) who are attending a meeting of a national organization whose primary purpose is addressing general legislative policy;
  • food or beverage that is provided at an event, a tour, or a meeting to a public official who is: 
    • giving a speech at the event, tour, or meeting;
    • participating in a panel discussion at the event, tour, or meeting; or
    • presenting or receiving an award at the event, tour, or meeting;
  • a plaque, commendation, or award that: 
    • is presented in public;
    • has the name of the individual receiving the plaque, commendation, or award inscribed, etched, printed, or otherwise permanently marked on the plaque, commendation, or award;
  • a gift that: 
    • is an item that is not consumable and not perishable;
    • a public official accepts on behalf of the state;
    • the public official promptly remits to the state;
    • a property administrator does not reject under Section 63G-23-103;
    • does not constitute a direct benefit to the public official before or after the public official remits the gift to the state; and
    • after being remitted to the state, is not transferred, divided, distributed, or used to distribute a gift or benefit to one or more public officials in a manner that would otherwise qualify the gift as an expenditure if the gift were given directly to a public official;
  • a publication having a cash value not exceeding $30;
  • admission to or attendance at an event, a tour, or a meeting, the primary purpose of which is: 
    • to solicit contributions reportable under: 
      • Title 20A, Chapter 11, Campaign and Financial Reporting Requirements; or
      • 2 U.S.C. Sec. 434; or
    • charitable solicitation, as defined in Section 13-22-2;
  • travel to, lodging at, food or beverage served at, and admission to an approved activity;
  • sponsorship of an approved activity;
  • notwithstanding Subsection (8)(a)(vii), admission to, attendance at, or travel to or from an event, a tour, or a meeting: 
    • that is sponsored by a governmental entity; or
    • that is widely attended and related to a governmental duty of a public official; or
  • travel to a widely attended tour or meeting related to a governmental duty of a public official if that travel results in financial savings to the state.

Utah Code § 36-11-102(8)

Before engaging in any lobbying in Utah, a lobbyist must obtain a license from the Lieutenant Governor by following all instructions on the Signature Authorization Form. There is a $110 filing fee, and licenses expire on December 31st of each even-numbered year. Instructions for renewing licenses are also on the Signature Authorization Form.

Utah Code § 36-11-103: Licensing requirements


Lobbyists must file financial reports with the Lieutenant Governor on or before the 10th day after the end of each calendar quarter (April 10th, July 10th, October 10th, and January 10th). A lobbyist who has not made an expenditure during a quarterly reporting period is not required to file a quarterly report. A lobbyist who was not required to file any quarterly report for a calendar year must file on or before January 10 of the following year, a financial reporting listing the number of expenditures for the entire preceding year as “none.” Government officers and principals that make expenditures during any of the quarterly reporting periods must file a financial report on or before the date that a report for that quarter is due.

Utah Code § 36-11-201: Lobbyist, principal, and government officer financial reporting requirements; Prohibition for a related person to make expenditures


License registrations and renewals and financial reports must be filed through the State of Utah Financial Disclosures website

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office: LobbyistsLobbyists
Lobbyist LoginLobbyist Login

Shipping Regulations

Utah has restrictions on the shipping of tobacco products.  A person, distributor, manufacturer, or retailer shall not cause tobacco products or cigarettes as defined in Section 59-22-202 to be ordered or purchased by anyone other than a licensed person; or knowingly provide substantial assistance to a person who violates this section.

All importers of tobacco products are required to have a Utah tobacco license.  In addition, common carries being used to ship tobacco products in the state must also have tobacco license issues by the Tax Commission and upon request are required to report the products brought into the state.  All recipients of tobacco products imported in Utah are required to provide the Tax Commission, upon request, duplicate copies of the invoices within 10 days of receipt of the product. Additional information about licensing in Utah is available at the Operating Your Business link above.

Utah Code § 59-14-202: Issuance of licenses — Common carrier licenses — Contents — Valid for three years — Revocation — Distribution requirements

Utah Code § 59-14-402: Reports of imports and exports of taxable cigarettes and tobacco products.

Utah Code § 59-14-403: Duplicate invoice requirements — Failure to comply — Penalties

Utah Code § 59-14-509: Restrictions on mail order or Internet sales

Staff confirmed that since shippers may only sell to other licensed businesses, they do not need to do any age verification. Utah does not allow the shipping of tobacco products to consumers. Therefore, Utah does not have any age-verification requirements for the shipping of tobacco products.

Utah imposes a tax on the sale, use, or storage of tobacco products in the state. The tax must be paid by manufacturers, jobbers, distributors, wholesalers, or retailers who sell or distribute tobacco products in Utah.

Staff confirmed that Utah does not impose additional taxes or higher tax rates on imported tobacco products. 


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.