Every person who sells other tobacco products at wholesale or retail is required to apply for and receive a license. Generally, transient vendors must also apply for a business application certificate and post a bond with the tax commissioner. Transient vendors include any person who brings into West Virginia, by automobile, truck or other means of transportation, or purchases in-state, tangible personal property, the sale or use of which is subject to one or more taxes. Additional information about licensing in West Virginia is available at the Operating Your Business link above.
W. Va. Code § 11-12-4a: Sellers of cigarettes, tobacco products or cigarette wrappers required to be licensed; business registration certificate is license; criminal penalties.
In addition, each wholesale dealer of tobacco products must be authorized to do business in West Virginia prior to delivering for sale any tobacco products to any retail dealer or subjobber. A wholesale dealer may sell tax-paid tobacco products only to another wholesaler or a retail dealer or subjobber in West Virginia, however no one can purchase tax-not-paid tobacco products from any seller not approved by the tax commissioner.
In addition, every person who transports tax-not-paid tobacco products upon the public highways, waterways, airways, roads or streets in West Virginia must have in his or her actual possession invoices or delivery tickets with respect to the tobacco products being transported.
Delivery tickets must show the following information:
The true name and the complete and exact address of the consignor or seller;
The true name and complete and exact address of the consignee or purchaser;
The quantity and brands of the tobacco products transported; and
The true name and complete and exact address of the person who has or will assume payment of applicable state taxes, or the tax, if any, of the state or foreign country at the point of ultimate destination
W. Va. Code § 11-17-20: Transportation of unstamped cigarettes or tax-not-paid tobacco products; forfeitures and sales of cigarettes and equipment.
Further, federal PACT Act requirements concerning cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco products apply. The federal PACT Act requires any person who sells, transfers, or ships cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco into a state to register with the tobacco tax administrator of the state. The federal PACT Act requires delivery sellers to comply with shipping requirements.
West Virginia does not have any specific age verification requirements for the shipping of tobacco products to consumers. However, West Virginia has specific age verification requirements for the shipping of cigarettes. In addition, the federal PACT Act age verification requirements for the shipping of cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco products apply.
West Virginia imposes an excise tax on the sale or use of tobacco products other than cigarettes sold by the wholesaler or subjobber dealer, whether or not sold at wholesale.
Manufacturers, importers, common carriers, wholesalers, subjobbers, retail dealers, and agents or vending machine operators must file a Tobacco Products Tax Report (Form TPT-709). Each person required to file a Tobacco Products Tax Report is required to keep the records necessary to substantiate the accuracy of the reports, including records of inventories, receipts, disbursements and sales. Records must be retained for at least three years.
W. Va. Code § 11-12-4a: Sellers of cigarettes, tobacco products, or cigarette wrappers required to be licensed; business registration certificate is license; criminal penalties W. Va. Code § 11-12-5: Time for which registration certificate granted; power of Tax Commissioner to suspend, revoke or cancel certificate; certificate to be permanent until cessation of business for which certificates are granted or revocation, suspension or cancellation by the Tax Commissioner; penalty for involuntary loss of license due to failure to pay required fees and taxes relating to business
W. Va. Code § 11-17-12: Reports required; due date; records to be kept; inspection of records and stocks; examination of witnesses, summons, etc.
Additional information about taxation in West Virginia, including information about tax rates, filings, and forms, is available at the Taxation and Definitions link above.
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