Click here to check the status on your submitted tip

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

1-40 packs


41-120 packs


121-250 packs


251or more packs


Loose/Single 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 offered. Read 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 fine.


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 affixed.

         Counterfeit Packs/Stampsthe 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 of Revenue


118 North Clark Street, Room 1160

Chicago, IL 60602




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 information entered.


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 more months.


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.


Please visit the following website for more information:

Cook County Department of Revenue, Tax Compliance Division

118 North Clark Street, Room 1160, Chicago, Illinois 60602, or call

(312) 603-6351


You must enter complete and accurate information to be considered for a monetary reward.


Confirmation (required)