Skip to Content

Unauthorized Substances Tax

The Unauthorized Substances Tax applies to controlled substances and certain illicit alcoholic beverages. This tax is due by any merchant or peddler who possesses an unauthorized substance upon which the tax has not been paid. Merchants or peddlers may purchase stamps from the Department of Revenue and affix them to the substance as proof that tax has been paid.

The purchase of unauthorized substances tax stamps is a confidential process. Merchants or peddlers are not required to provide the department with any identifying information. Additionally, any information obtained pursuant to the unauthorized substances tax law is strictly confidential and may not be disclosed or used in a criminal prosecution other than a prosecution for a violation of the unauthorized substances tax law. If caught with unauthorized substances that do not have stamps, the Department of Revenue will collect all taxes due on those substances. Purchasing stamps does not in any way provide immunity from criminal prosecution. 

For more information, call (615) 741-7071. For an application for stamps, call statewide toll-free (800) 342-1003 or (615) 253-0600 if in the Nashville area or out of state.

Registration and Report for Taxation of Unauthorized Substances (PDF)

Unauthorized Substances Tax Frequently Asked Questions