Tired of trying to figure out the puzzle that is sales tax in each state? We feel your pain. That’s why we’re going through state-by-state to give you a guide to rules and laws in each state when it comes to sales tax. Today’s post: all about West Virginia.
You’re a merchant living anywhere but West Virginia
In this scenario your business exists in a state other than West Virginia and you otherwise have no presence within WV. If this is correct, then you have no obligation to collect sales tax from West Virginia. You can safely go on with the rest of your business!
You live and/or operate your business in West Virginia
In this case your business is physically located in West Virginia. This means you have to collect sales tax and remit them to the state. West Virginia is another example of a destination-based sales tax state, which means you have to collect the percentage of sales tax at the location where your customers are, not your business.
For example, let’s say your business is in Charleston. You get an order from a customer in Parkersburg. In this case you would collect the amount of sales tax due in Parkersburg, not Charleston, because that’s where your customer lives.
The state sales tax rate for West Virginia is 6%. However, individual counties can bring the percentage up to 7%.
You live-out-of-state but use a 3rd party fulfillment service like FBA
Here we have a scenario where your business is physically located out of the state of West Virginia but you otherwise have sales tax nexus there. For instance you may use a 3rd party fulfillment service and doing so gives you a “presence” in the state.
Again, West Virginia is a destination-based state. This means you only care where your customer lives. The base rate for the state is 6%, but individual counties can add on additional tax. Check this local rate chart for more help.
So what exactly constitutes nexus? Here’s what the West Virginia State Tax Department has to say:
Who is required to collect?
All retailers who are registered to collect West Virginia sales taxes and are doing business in an area with a local tax must be registered with the State Tax Department to collect local taxes. Those include sellers from outside the locality that:
- Have an office, distribution, sales, sample or warehouse location or other place of business in the local area either directly or by a subsidiary;
- Have a representative, agent, salesperson, canvasser or solicitor in the local area – on either a permanent or temporary basis – who operates under the authority of the retailer or its subsidiary for any purpose, such as repairing, selling or installing orders for the retailer’s goods or services or leasing tangible personal property in the local area;
- Ship or deliver tangible personal property to the local area; or
- Perform taxable services in the local area.
Local tax applies to sales made or services performed within city limits only. Zip codes help to determine the taxing area but don’t always correspond exactly with city or county limits, so part of a zip code may be outside the city.
Filing sales tax in West Virginia
Before you start to collect sales tax, you must register your business with the state of West Virginia. Now you can collect and pay up every month on the 20th, as West Virginia is on a monthly sales tax calendar.
If you need to file a sales tax return in West Virginia, TaxJar has your back. You can now enroll in AutoFile for the state of West Virginia and we’ll automatically file your sales tax return for you! Find out more about AutoFile here.
Sales tax on shipping
West Virginia’s rules on shipping are that all shipping costs are taxable, even if they are separately stated on an invoice.
Summary: West Virginia is a fairly simple destination-based state
If you have nexus or your business physically exists within West Virginia, you collect sales tax at the rate where you ship your goods. If they live in Charleston, you collect the rate in Charleston, no matter where your business is. The state rate is 6%, but individual counties can up this to 7%.
Also, West Virginia is on a monthly schedule. Make sure to pay by the 20th of each month, either online or submitting a paper form. Shipping is considered taxable, so make sure you’re including that amount when you collect and remit the taxes!