Sales Tax 101 Shipping States VA

Is Shipping Taxable in Virginia?

by Mark Faggiano

Virginia Shipping Taxability

 Last updated July 14, 2017

There are a million questions being asked about sales tax at any given time. It can be one of the most trying (and tiring) subjects for small business owners, especially the rules on sales tax vary from state to state. Then when you get drill down to specific questions,  like whether to charge sales tax on shipping, it can be exhausting. Let’s take a look at how the great state of Virginia answers this question for its small business owners.

Is Shipping Taxable in Virginia?

The Virginia Department of Taxation wants you to know this:

Delivery charges taxable Virginia

Well, that’s a little sly. So, in Virginia, if the shipping charges are separately stated on the invoice, they are not taxable. However, if you have a ‘shipping AND handling’ charge on the invoice, even if they are separately stated from the price of the goods, the shipping and handling charge is taxable.

So, if a seller doesn’t want to charge sales tax on shipping, they need to separately list it from every other charge including handling.

Survey says:

You will not charge sales tax on shipping in Virginia, but you will on handling.

Since a handling charge is taxable in Virginia, a seller must list the shipping charge separately from every other charge, including handling, if they want shipping to be non-taxable.

Still need answers? Jot those questions down in the comments.

  • elizabeth gionis

    My invoice says “delivery” is that subject to use tax in VA? Thanks!

    • Some states call shipping and handling charges “delivery fees.” I can’t give you specific advice, but I think it’s best to get really specific in case of an audit. Here’s a list of vetted sales tax experts should you want an expert opinion: http://www.taxjar.com/sales-tax-accountant-directory/

  • Nadine Singh

    I feel like a dummy, but what is handling and why is there a charge?

    • Handling is the charge a retailer charges the customer for things like packaging, etc. For example, you might charge the customer $2.00 for wrapping up a delicate object.

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  • Dan

    What if the items in the invoice are not taxable? Is the shipping and handling alone taxable? The invoice is for consulting services but they produced a bound hard copy report. The vendor then charged shipping and handling.

    • Hi Dan,

      While all states are different, in most states I can recall if the product isn’t taxable then the shipping isn’t taxable. You may want to reach out to the vendor and inquire.

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