West Virginia’s state sales tax is 6 percent. The state also has a complementary use tax, municipality taxes, and several special taxes. Businesses must determine which taxes apply to them and charge their consumers accordingly, then submit a combined sales and use tax return to the West Virginia State Tax Department.
This guide does not fully describe all of West Virginia’s laws and regulations regarding taxes. Businesses should contact a business attorney or visit the West Virginia State Tax Department website to learn more about the rules, regulations, tax laws, and tax information associated with their industries and the types of taxes due.
Types of taxes
In addition to the sales tax of 6 percent, West Virginia has several additional taxes based on the municipality and industry you are in.
Sales and use tax for sales of goods and services
The sales tax has a complementary use tax. Consumers and businesses do not pay both. If a business purchases tangible taxable personal property without paying taxes and does not resell the items, it must pay use tax on them. If a consumer purchases tangible personal property and does not pay tax, the consumer must pay the use tax. Some online businesses do not charge West Virginia’s sales tax because they do not meet the physical or financial nexus.
Local wine and liquor distribution tax
Retailers selling wine and liquor must collect and remit:
- The state sales and use tax of 6 percent.
- Municipality sales and use tax for the business location.
- Local wine and liquor tax of 5 percent.
The state requires a retailer to complete two forms: The CST-200CU Combined Sales and Use Tax Return and the CST-270 Wine/Liquor Return.
To determine the total tax due for a municipality that charges a 1-percent sales and use tax:
- Multiply gross sales by 7 percent combined state and municipality tax. If a sale is $100, the tax is $7, for a total of $107.
- Multiply gross sales by 5 percent. If a sale is $100, the tax is $5. Add the $5 to $107 for a total due from the consumer of $112.
Retailers can also file both taxes online.
Special district excise tax
If a municipality has a Special District Excise Tax for economic opportunity development, the business pays only this tax. It does not have to pay the state’s sales tax. As of this writing, Monongalia County, Harrison County and Ohio company are the only three counties with a Special District Excise Tax:
- Monongalia County: University Town Center. The tax rate is 6 percent.
- Harrison County: Charles Pointe. The tax rate is 6 percent.
- Ohio County: The Highlands. The tax rate is 6 percent.
- South Charleston: Park Place. The tax rate is 6 percent.
The local sales tax of 1 percent still applies to Park Place, so the total tax rate for that local jurisdiction is 7 percent.
If the business taxpayer has sales only in Park Place, it can file the local tax on the District forms. However, if the business has sales from other physical business locations or sales made by delivery to locations not in the District, it must file those sales on the regular sales tax return (CST-200CU).
West Virginia fireworks safety fee
Businesses that make retail sales of consumer fireworks must collect a 12-percent safety fee in addition to the state sales tax. This fee is due on the 20th of each month for the previous calendar month.
Thus, if a consumer purchases $200 in fireworks, the business must collect 6 percent for the state tax plus the municipality tax (we’ll use 1 percent for this example), and the 12 percent safety fee. Multiply the total due by .06 to get the state tax of $12, then by .01 to get the local tax due of $4, and finally, by .12 to get the fireworks safety fee of $24. The total sale is $240.
Factory built homes
Businesses that sell factory-built homes must charge the state’s sales tax rate of 6 percent on 50 percent of the cost of the home. The tax applies to homes being used as the consumer’s principal year-round residence. All other sales are subject to sales tax on the full price of the home.
Additionally, businesses must also pay a factory-built homes fee of $20 per home.
Motor fuel taxes
West Virginia has two motor fuel taxes – a flat rate and a variable rate. The combined rate for the different types of fuel are:
- Gasoline: $0.3570.
- Diesel: $0.3570.
- Gasohol: $0.3570.
- Liquid propane: $0.2222.
- Liquid natural gas: $0.1600.
- Compressed natural gas: $0.2490.
- Ethanol: $0.3570.
- Methanol: $0.3570.
- E-85: $0.3570.
- M-85: $0.3570.
- Biodiesel: $0.3570.
The following fuels are subject only to the variable rate as follows:
- Dyed diesel: $0.1520.
- Aviation gas: $0.1520.
- Aviation jet fuel: $0.1520.
- #1 fuel oil: $0.1520.
- Heating oil: $0.1520.
- Dyed biodiesel: $0.1520.
- Dyed kerosene: $0.1520.
Cigarette and tobacco products tax
West Virginia has a cigarette tax and a tax on other tobacco products. The cigarette tax is $1.20 per pack of 20 cigarettes. The state taxes other tobacco products at 12 percent of the wholesale price.
Additionally, when the cigarette tax increases, the state charges a floor stock tax on wholesale dealers and retailers with stamped cigarettes in their possession that were stamped at the lower rate. The floor tax also applies to other tobacco products. The floor tax for cigarettes is $0.65 per pack of 20 cigarettes and 5 percent of the wholesale price for other tobacco products already stocked.
Discretionary sales tax rates
Several municipalities in West Virginia charge a 1-percent municipal sales and use tax. The tax is on taxable goods, services provided within the municipality, and custom software. Local businesses collect this tax in addition to the state sales tax.
Registering for and filing West Virginia's taxes
Businesses can file their taxes online through the MyTaxes website.
File Your West Virginia Sales and Use Tax Return Online
As of May 15, 2008, if you are filing this tax electronically, it must be filed through the MyTaxes website. They may also file a paper copy of the CST-200 Consumer’s Sales and Service Tax Return. If filing a paper copy, businesses should make the sales tax return and remit payment to: Tax Account Administration Div., PO Box 1826, Charleston, WV, 25327-1826.
If a business needs assistance with filing taxes, it can call (304) 558-3333 or (800) 982-8297.
West Virginia's sales tax holiday
The West Virginia sales tax holiday is from 12:00 a.m. on Friday, August 5, 2022, through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, August 8, 2022.
Qualifying items include:
- Certain clothing costing less than $125.
- Certain school supplies costing $50 or less.
- Some laptops and tables costing $500 or less.
- Some school instruction material costing $20 or less.
- Certain sports equipment costing $150 or less.
Consumers can have more than one items that are tax-free in the same transaction, even if the total of both items exceeds the threshold. The qualification is based on the purchase price of each item.
Remote and marketplace sellers and retail sales tax
Remote sellers and marketplace facilitators must collect West Virginia’s sales tax rate, including the municipal taxes, if they meet the thresholds of $100,000 in gross receipts for the previous year or 200 individual sales into West Virginia.
Consumers who purchase products and services from a remote business that does not meet the financial nexus and does not collect tax must pay use tax on the items they purchased.
West Virginia tax exemptions
Certain items are tax-exempt and do not require a sales tax exemption certificate, including:
- Contracting for real property, including construction, repair, alteration, decoration, or improvement.
- Daycare center services.
- Certain drugs, mobility enhancing equipment, durable medical goods and prosthetic devices.
- Summer camp tuition for educational summer camps.
- Fundraiser sales by certain nonprofit organizations and churches.
- Copyrights, royalties, bonds, and other intangible property.
- Newspapers and lottery tickets.
- Personal services, such as hair styling and barbering.
- Certain professional services, including certified public accountants.
- Certain transportation services.
West Virginia sales tax due dates
Depending on the amount a business collects, it has to pay sales tax on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. A business learns of its due dates when it creates an account.
Generally, sales and use tax is due on the 20th of the month following the month when the business collects the tax. For example, taxes collected in January are due on or before February 20.
Quarterly taxes are due on the 20th day of the month following the end of the quarter. For example, taxes collected from January through March are due on or before April 20.
Annual taxes are due on or before January 20 of the year following the collection year. For example, filers pay taxes collected in 2022 on or before January 20, 2023.
West Virginia’s sales tax for 2022 is 6 percent. Several municipalities in the state also charge an additional sales and use tax rate.
Businesses can download the Streamlined Certificate to use as a resale certificate. Tax-exempt businesses that qualify, such as certain nonprofits and governmental agencies and also use this document as a tax-exempt certificate.