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Most businesses starting in West Virginia that are selling products or services will need to register for a sales tax permit.  This is commonly referred to as a seller’s permit, sales tax license, sales tax number or sales tax registration.   

The sales tax permit is obtained through the West Virginia State Tax Department as a part of the West Virginia Business Registration Application.  In addition to registering for the sales tax permit, a business will also be able to register for withholding taxes.

Check out the rest of this guide to find out who needs a sales tax permit, what products and services are taxable, how to register for a permit and reporting requirements.

Who needs a sales tax permit in West Virginia?

A business must register for a sales tax permit in West Virginia when:

  • A business has “nexus” (significant presence in the state) such as a retail store, office or warehouse where products are produced, stored and/or delivered
  • Selling products and taxable services in West Virginia (includes occasionally selling items at craft shows, fairs, seminars, shows, etc.)
  • Employees (including sales representatives or agents) are working in West Virginia
  • An online business located in West Virginia is selling taxable products to West Virginia residents
  • An out-of-state business selling to West Virginia residents and one of the following:
    • Total annual sales of tangible personal property to West Virginia residents is $100,000 or more; or
    • Having 200 or more transactions with West Virginia residents annually.

What products and services are taxable in West Virginia?

Physical products

There are a few exceptions, but almost all physical products are taxable when sold at retail in West Virginia.  Common examples include:

  • General merchandise like furniture, appliances, and clothing
  • Titled or registered items like vehicles

Digital Products

Digital products are tax exempt in West Virginia.

Services

Most services are taxable in West Virginia, however there are a few exceptions, some of which include:

  • Advertising (radio or TV broadcasting time, preprinted advertising circulars, outdoor advertising space, etc.)
  • Contracting – construction, alteration, repair improvement or decoration of real property provided the work improves the property
  • Day care centers
  • Prescriptions and Drugs
  • Durable medical goods

See the full list of sales tax exemptions in West Virginia.

How to register for a sales tax permit in West Virginia

A sales tax permit can be obtained by registering online through the WV State Tax Department or mailing the Business Registration Application (Form WV/BUS-APP).

Information needed to register includes:

  • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), or SSN if a sole proprietorship with no employees
  • Business name and physical address
  • Mailing address
  • North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code
  • Description of what products or services are being sold
  • Beginning date of business
  • Estimated annual gross location
  • Taxable year end of the business
  • Type of business entity (Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, LLC)
  • Name, address, SSN and phone number of owners/officers/members
  • Business name
  • Business address
  • Phone number
  • Date business activities began or will begin
  • Projected monthly sales

How much does a sales tax permit cost in West Virginia?

The Business Registration Application, which is used to register for the sales tax permit costs $30.

How long does it take to get an West Virginia sales tax permit?

Expect 2-3 business days to receive a sales tax permit when registering online or 2-3 weeks when applying by mail.

Do you have to renew your West Virginia sales tax permit?

The sales tax permit is a one-time registration and no renewals are needed.  Be mindful that if any information about the business changes such as the mailing address, additional locations or change in ownership, those changes need to be updated with the State Tax Department.

Sales tax reporting

How is sales tax collected?

When a business makes a sale of a taxable product or service, the business charges the appropriate sales tax rate to the customer.  This tax is collected by the business who then sends it to the West Virginia State Tax Department.

How much sales tax is charged?

The sales tax rate that is charged varies depending on the address of the business if the purchase is made in the store.  When shipping in-state, the sales tax is based on the address of the purchaser.

In addition to the statewide tax, there are additional sales taxes that may be added by municipalities.  To find sales tax rates, see the sales tax rate lookup from the West Virginia State Tax Department.

 

When are West Virginia sales tax returns due?

The State Tax Department will determine a filing frequency based on the expected volume of sales, which will be monthly, quarterly or annually.  Generally, a business collecting over $250 in sales taxes each month will file monthly. 

Filings are due the 20th day of the month following the reporting period, unless the 20th falls on a weekend or federal holiday, in which case would move to the next business day.

Even if the business had no sales during the reporting period, a filing is still required indicating no sales occurred.

Sales tax on purchases for resale

A business is able to purchase items to resell without paying state sales tax.  The tax liability is passed from the wholesaler or distributor to the retailer who will then charge sales tax to the end user of the item. 

Wholesalers and distributors will require a sales tax number, and the reseller to fill out a West Virginia Certificate of Exemption to document the items being purchased are for resale. 

Questions

If you have questions about the sales tax permit, the West Virginia State Tax Department has a helpful guide to West Virginia taxes or can be contacted by calling 304-558-3333 or emailing TaxHelp@WV.gov.

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