How to Register for a Sales Tax Permit in West Virginia
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 and use tax permit is obtained through the state of West Virginia State Tax Department as a part of the West Virginia Business Registration Certificate. 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 determine 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 an “economic nexus” (physical presence in the state) when they have a retail store, office, or warehouse where products are produced, or inventory is stored.
- Making a sale of tangible personal property or taxable services in West Virginia (includes occasionally selling items at craft shows, fairs, seminars, shows, etc.).
- Charging admission to any place of amusement, sport, or recreation.
- A business has employees (including sales representatives or agents) working in West Virginia.
- Transient Vendors are vendors from outside of West Virginia, that transport and sell tangible personal property while not having a business located in the state.
- A remote seller is selling taxable products to West Virginia residents
- A remote seller meets one of the following scenarios:
- Making sales of over $100,000 to West Virginia residents; or
- Shipping over 200 transactions to residents in the state
What products and services are taxable in West Virginia?
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 are tax exempt in West Virginia.
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
- Daycare 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
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
Sales tax reporting
How is sales tax collected?
When a business sells 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 business’s address 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 West Virginia State Tax Department’s sales tax rate lookup.
When are West Virginia sales tax returns due?
The West Virginia 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, which would move to the next business day. Failure to file or pay the tax due will result in the assessment of penalties and interest.
Even if the business had no sales during g the reporting period, a filing is still required indicating no 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 a 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.
How do I get a wholesale license in West Virginia?
A business can purchase items to resell without paying state sales tax. The tax liability is passed from the vendor or wholesaler 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. The reseller will fill out a West Virginia Certificate of Exemption (also called a sales tax exemption certificate or resale certificate) to document the items being purchased are for resale.
Is a business license the same thing as a sales tax permit?
In addition to registering for a sales tax permit, there may be other business licenses needed before starting a business in West Virginia.
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.