The Cigarette Tax
Reward Program has significant changes.†
However, it will still reward those individuals who report violations of
the Cook County Tobacco Tax Ordinance to the Department of Revenue. Responsible
citizens of the County may now report violators through the Cigarette Tax
Reward Program website, provided the reporter leaves adequate information, so
the Department may contact that person after the investigation, adjudication
and/or payment of the fine. The payout will be as follows:
Quantity of Confiscation
Reward to be Received
251or more packs
Cigarettes, 1 or more
Tipsters or persons who enter tip information into the Tip Line
Reward Website must enter complete and accurate information into the Tip Line
Reward Database to be considered eligible for a monetary reward. Incomplete or
inaccurate information includes but is not limited to incomplete or inaccurate
business names, street address, type of violation, tipster identification
information, etc. Rewards are only paid out if a confiscation is made and the
violator pays the fine. If the violator defaults on payment, no reward is
the entire Tobacco Tax Ordinance 74-430 online at Cook County Tobacco Tax Ordinance page
When is the Field Investigation Performed? Tip
generated field investigations are usually performed within a couple of weeks
from the date the Tip is completed online
What are the chances a TIPster will be
rewarded? The Cook County Department of
Revenue is successful in more than 80% (findings of liable/ guilty) of the
cases heard in Administrative Hearings. Reported TIPs have more than an 8 in
10 chance of being rewarded!†
However, rewards are contingent on the violator actually paying the
What is a Cigarette Tax Violation? Citizens who purchased cigarettes from, and/or has knowledge of
a retailer in the possession of the cigarettes on which the Cook County Tobacco
Tax, Cigarette Tax has not been paid (see example violations below), shall
report such purchases, sales, or possession to the Cook County Department of
Revenue, by use of the reporting guidelines below:
Unstamped Packs, sales or possession for sale in Cook County, packs of
cigarettes on which the Cook County Cigarette Tax Stamp is not attached or
Counterfeit Packs/Stamps† the
unauthorized manufacturing of cigarette tax stamps for the purpose of deceiving
both the purchaser and/or inspector.
Taped-On Tax Stamps/ Used/
Re-used, sales or possesses for sale in
Cook County, packs of cigarettes on which the County Cigarette Tax Stamp is taped, attached or affixed
by an adhesive tape (i.e. scotch tape, masking tape, etc.).
Loose Cigarettes, which means, sales or possesses for sale in Cook County,
un-packaged single or individual cigarettes.
Can A Person Choose To Leave An Anonymous Tip? Yes, identity is not required.†
However, electing to report anonymously forfeits any and all rewards.
How Will I Know The Status Of My Tip?† The
Cigarette Reward Website yields a 14 digit confirmation code upon entry. You
may check back on the site and enter the confirmation for an updated status. If
no progress has been made after four months, please write a letter to:
Cook County Department
ATTN: CIGARETTE REWARD
118 North Clark Street,
Chicago, IL 60602
PLEASE NOTE NO PHONE OR IN-PERSON INQUIRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED.
How Will I Know If I Am Eligible
For Payout? Reward eligibility is determined in the
sequential order of date and time of day Tipster entered tip information into
the Tip Line Reward Database, and the completeness and accuracy of the tip
How Will The Public At Large Know About The Program? Through an aggressive outreach
program investigators as well as wholesalers and distributors will hand out
flyers to retail shops, word of mouth and press releases.
Are There Any Restrictions To The Program? Currently, no Cook County
employee, nor their families, may benefit from the program.† Also a tipster may only report the same
violation once every 30 days.
What Are Payout Procedures? Payouts to tipsters
are made only after receipt of payment from Cigarette Tax violators. Generally
payments are received within 35 days of the Administrative Hearing Date. Any
payment not received within 35 days after an Administration Hearing is referred
to a collection agency; this can substantially lengthen the payout process.
How Long Will A Payout Take? This may vary based on individual circumstances.† Once the method of payment clears and the
administrative tasks occur, Tipster reward will be sent on a quarterly basis.
Under normal circumstances it will take approximately 4-6 months, but if a case
is delayed or the violator has unique circumstances it may be delayed several
Is The Tip Line Or Website Available In Languages Other Than
English? The Website is provided in English only.
What If I Have No Computer Nor Internet Access? Due to the excessive amount of phone calls
and incomplete phone tips received from this point forward no phone calls will
be accepted.† If you call the DOR to
leave a tip that tip will be treated as an anonymous tip which will forfeit any
and all rewards.† For those without
internet access please know all public libraries have internet access and if
you so choose you can come to the DOR and access our public computer terminal
to input your information. Our address is found below. You may come any
business day between the hours of 9 - 4:30 pm.
Why Cigarette Enforcement? Isnít There A Better Use Of County
Resources? The offense is not trivial.† Failure to pay the tobacco tax robs the
County coffers.† This makes it harder to
repair roads and bridges, provide public safety and provide excellent health
care services. Cigarette smuggling is a multi-billion dollar business and many
of the proceeds go to support organized crime and terrorism.
the following website for more information:
Department of Revenue, Tax Compliance Division
118 North Clark
Street, Room 1160, Chicago, Illinois 60602, or call
You must enter complete and accurate information to be
considered for a monetary reward.