West Virginia

Alerts & Updates

Key Contacts

West Virginia State Tax Department
taxwvtaxaid@wv.gov

West Virginia Ethics Commission
(304) 558-0664
(304) 558-2169 fax
ethics@wv.com

PCA Contact

David Jessup david@premiumcigars.org

Taxation

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, or if not sold, then at the same rate on the use by the wholesaler or dealer.

W. Va. Code § 11-17-3: Levy of tax; ration; dedication of proceeds


No municipality or governmental subdivision may levy any excise or other tax on any tobacco product or require cigarettes or other tobacco products to be stamped, or require licenses for sale thereof, other than licenses which may be required in accordance with state law.

W. Va. Code § 11-17-4a: No tobacco products tax by municipalities or other governmental subdivisions

The tax rate on tobacco products other than cigarettes is 7% of the wholesale price of each article or item of tobacco product.

W. Va. Code § 11-17-3: Levy of tax; ration; dedication of proceeds

On or before the 15th day of each month, manufacturers, importers, common carriers, wholesalers, subjobbers, retail dealers, and agents or vending machine operators must file a Tobacco Products Tax Report (Form TPT-709), along with payment for taxes due. Form TPT-709 may be filed online through the MyTaxes website. 

W. Va. Code § 11-17-12: Reports required; due date; records to be kept; inspection of records and stocks; examination of witnesses, summons, etc.

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
West Virginia State Tax Department: Tobacco Products Returns and SchedulesTobacco Products Returns and Schedules

Cigar and Smoking Tobacco Definitions

Tobacco product” includes cigarettes and any other tobacco product.

W. Va. Code § 11-17-2(19)

Other tobacco product” or “tobacco products other than cigarettes” means snuff and chewing tobacco and any other tobacco product that is intended by the seller to be consumed by means other than smoking and any cigar, pipe tobacco or other tobacco product other than cigarettes.

W. Va. Code § 11-17-2(6)

Wholesaler” or “wholesale dealer” includes any person in this state who purchases tax-not-paid tobacco products directly from the manufacturer or such other seller as may be approved by the tax commissioner. Any distributor, dealer, subjobber, subjobber dealer, retailer or any other person that imports or transports tax-not-paid tobacco products into this state, or that causes tax-not-paid tobacco products to be imported or transported into this state is a wholesaler liable for the tax imposed under this article and, in the case of cigarettes purchased, is liable for affixing tax indicia in accordance with the requirements of this article. No wholesaler or other people may purchase tax-not-paid tobacco products from any seller not approved by the tax commissioner.

W. Va. Code § 11-17-2(25)

Subjobber” or “subjobber dealer” includes any person who purchases stamped cigarettes or tax-paid tobacco products from a wholesaler or from any other person who purchases from the manufacturer or importer and who purchases the tax-paid tobacco products solely for the purpose of bona fide resale to retail dealers.

W. Va. Code § 11-17-2(16)

Retail dealer” includes every person in this state, other than a wholesaler or subjobber, engaged in the selling of tobacco products at retail to a consumer or to any person for any purpose other than resale.

W. Va. Code § 11-17-2(10)

Wholesale price” means the gross invoice price, including all federal excise taxes, at which the manufacturer of the tobacco product sells the tobacco product to unaffiliated distributors, excluding all trade discounts and other reductions in the manufacturer’s price. If the taxpayer buys from other than a manufacturer, “wholesale price” means the gross invoice price, including all federal excise taxes and excluding all trade discounts and other similar reductions in price.

W. Va. Code § 11-17-2(24)

Sale” means selling, exchange, transfer of title, barter, gift, offer for sale or distribution or disposition of cigarettes or other tobacco products.

W. Va. Code § 11-17-2(11)

Restrictions

West Virginia law prohibits smoking: in any building or part of a building used for instructional purposes, in any school, or the grounds of any school used for instructional purposes while the school is used or occupied for school purposes; by inmates held in facilities operated solely by the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority; in-state places of employment; in childcare facilities; and in any building, property, or vehicle leased, owned or operated by a county board of education, a Regional Education Service Agency (RESA), the State Department of Education, or the State Board of Education.

W. Va. Code § 16-9A-4: Use of tobacco, tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products in certain areas of certain public schools prohibited; penalty

W. Va. Code § 31-20-5b: Prohibition against use or possession of tobacco products by inmates held by regional facility authority in regional jails operated solely by the authority; authorization to establish smoking cessation program

West Virginia Division of Personnel: Smoking restrictions in the workplace policy.

W. Va. Code of St. R. § 64-21-10: Employee health

W. Va. Code of St. R. § 126-66-1 et seq: Tobacco control


West Virginia law contains no specific provisions concerning state preemption of local laws on smoking, so local communities are allowed to pass stronger laws or ordinances further restricting this area.

The following are exempt from the ban on smoking, subject to conditions:

  • Faculty or staff lounges, faculty offices, and areas of public schools not used for instructional purposes, as long as students do not have access to these areas

W. Va. Code § 16-9A-4: Use of tobacco, tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products in certain areas of certain public schools prohibited; penalty


West Virginia state law does not contain restrictions on smoking in bars, restaurants, or retail tobacco stores.

Individuals under 18 years of age cannot have on or about his or her person or premises or use any cigarette, cigarette paper, or any other paper prepared, manufactured, or made for the purpose of smoking any tobacco products, in any form or any pipe, snuff, chewing tobacco, tobacco product, or tobacco-derived product.

W. Va. Code § 16-9A-3: Use or possession of tobacco or tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products by persons under the age of eighteen years; penalties


Division of Labor staff reported that there are no laws regarding the minimum age to sell tobacco products at retail. The minimum age to work in West Virginia is 14.

W. Va. Code § 21-6-2(b): Employment of children under eighteen in certain occupations; determination as to other occupations; appeal to the supreme court.


It is illegal for any person, firm, corporation, or business entity to sell, give, or furnish, or cause to be sold, given, or furnished, to any person under 18 years of age: any pipe, cigarette paper, or any other paper prepared, manufactured, or made for the purpose of smoking any tobacco or tobacco product; any cigar, cigarette, snuff, chewing tobacco, or tobacco product, in any form; or any tobacco-derived product, alternative nicotine product, or vapor product.

W. Va. Code § 16-9A-2(b): Definitions; sale or gift of cigarette, cigarette paper, pipe, cigar, snuff, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, tobacco products, tobacco-derived and alternative nicotine product or vapor products to persons under eighteen; penalties for first and subsequent offense; consideration of prohibited act as grounds for dismissal; impact on eligibility for unemployment benefits


West Virginia law contains no specific provisions concerning state preemption of local youth access laws, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances in this area.

In West Virginia, it is illegal for any person, firm, corporation, or business entity to sell, give, or furnish, or cause to be sold, given, or furnished, to any person under 18 years of age: any pipe, cigarette paper, or any other paper prepared, manufactured, or made for the purpose of smoking any tobacco or tobacco product; any cigar, cigarette, snuff, chewing tobacco, or tobacco product, in any form; or any tobacco-derived product, alternative nicotine product, or vapor product. 

W. Va. Code § 16-9A-2(b): Definitions; sale or gift of cigarette, cigarette paper, pipe, cigar, snuff, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, tobacco products, tobacco-derived and alternative nicotine product or vapor products to persons under eighteen; penalties for first and subsequent offense; consideration of prohibited act as grounds for dismissal; impact on eligibility for unemployment benefits


Distribution of tobacco samples is subject to tax and licensing requirements, as “sale” means selling, exchange, transfer of title, barter, gift, offer for sale or distribution or disposition of cigarettes or other tobacco products.

W. Va. Code § 11-17-2(11)


West Virginia law contains no specific provision concerning state preemption of sampling, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances on tobacco sampling.

Operating Your Business

Each person who sells other tobacco products at wholesale or retail must apply for and receive a Business Registration Certificate from the West Virginia State Tax Department by filing the Application for Registration Certificate (Form WV/BUS-APP) online through the Business for West Virginia website. The Tobacco License application is included in Form WV/BUS-APP. The business registration fee is $30, and Business Registration Certificates are valid until suspended, revoked, or canceled by the Tax Commissioner.

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


On or before the 15th day of each month, manufacturers, importers, common carriers, wholesalers, subjobbers, retail dealers, and agents or vending machine operators must file a Tobacco Products Tax Report (Form TPT-709), along with payment for taxes due. Form TPT-709 may be filed online through the MyTaxes website

W. Va. Code § 11-17-12: Reports required; due date; records to be kept; inspection of records and stocks; examination of witnesses, summons, etc.


West Virginia state law does not contain restrictions on smoking in restaurants or bars. Generally, smoking and drinking may be allowed in these establishments. However, localities may impose more stringent laws or ordinances.

No municipality or governmental subdivision may levy any excise or other tax on any tobacco product or require cigarettes or other tobacco products to be stamped, or require licenses for sale thereof, other than licenses which may be required in accordance with state law.

W. Va. Code § 11-17-4a: No tobacco products tax by municipalities or other governmental subdivisions

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
West Virginia State Tax Department: Business RegistrationBusiness Registration
West Virginia State Tax Department: Tobacco Products Returns and SchedulesTobacco Products Returns and Schedules

Political Involvement

Lobbying” or “lobbying activity” means the act of communicating with a government officer or employee to promote, advocate or oppose or otherwise attempt to influence:

  • The passage or defeat or the executive approval or veto of any legislation which may be considered by the Legislature of this state, or
  • The adoption or rejection of any rule, regulation, legislative rule, standard, rate fee or other delegated legislative or quasi-legislative action to be taken or withheld by any executive department

W. Va. Code § 6B-3-1(6)

Lobbyist” means anyindividual employed by a lobbying firm or who is otherwise employed or contracts for economic consideration, other than reimbursement for reasonable travel expenses, to communicate directly or through his or her agents with any elective state official, agency official or legislative official for the purpose of promoting, advocating, opposing or otherwise attempting to influence:  

  • The passage or defeat or the executive approval or veto of any legislation which may be considered by the Legislature of this state, or
  • The adoption or rejection of any rule, legislative rule, standard, rate, fee or other delegated legislative or quasi-legislative action to be taken or withheld by any executive department

Lobbyist” does not include the following persons, who are exempt from the registration and reporting requirements set forth in this article, unless they engage in activities which would otherwise subject them to the registration and reporting requirements:  

  • Persons who limit their lobbying activities to appearing before public sessions of committees of the Legislature, or public hearings of state agencies
  • Persons who limit their lobbying activities to attending receptions, dinners, parties or other group functions and make no expenditure in connection with such lobbying
  • Persons who engage in news or feature reporting activities and editorial comment as working members of the press, radio or television and persons who publish or disseminate such news, features or editorial comment through a newspaper, book, regularly published periodical, radio station or television station
  • Persons who lobby without compensation or other consideration, other than reimbursement for reasonable travel expenses, for acting as lobbyists, who are not employed by a lobbying firm or lobbyist employer, and whose total expenditures in connection with lobbying activities do not exceed one hundred fifty dollars during any calendar year
  • Persons who lobby on behalf of a nonprofit organization with regard to legislation, without compensation, and who restrict their lobbying activities to no more than twenty days or parts thereof during any regular session of the Legislature
  • The Governor, members of the Governor’s staff, members of the Board of Public Works, officers and employees of the executive branch who communicate with a member of the Legislature on the request of that member, or who communicate with the Legislature, through the proper official channels, requests for legislative action or appropriations which are deemed necessary for the efficient conduct of the public business or which are made in the proper performance of their official duties
  • Members of the Legislature
  • Persons employed by the Legislature for the purpose of aiding in the preparation or enactment of legislation or the performance of legislative duties
  • Persons rendering professional services in drafting proposed legislation or in advising or rendering opinions to clients as to the construction and effect of proposed or pending legislation

W. Va. Code § 6B-3-1(8)

Lobbying firm” means any business entity, including an individual contract lobbyist, which meets either of the following criteria:

  • The business entity receives or becomes entitled to receive any compensation, other than reimbursement for reasonable travel expenses, for the purpose of lobbying on behalf of any other person, and any partner, owner, officer or employee of the business entity
  • The business entity receives or becomes entitled to receive any compensation, other than reimbursement for reasonable travel expenses, to communicate directly with any elected state official, agency official or legislative official for the purpose of lobbying on behalf of any other person

W. Va. Code § 6B-3-1(7)

Expenditure” means payment, distribution, loan, advance deposit, reimbursement, or gift of money, real or personal property or any other thing of value; or a contract, promise, or agreement, whether or not legally enforceable.  

W. Va. Code § 6B-3-1(3)

Before engaging in any lobbying activity, or within 30 days after being employed as a lobbyist, whichever occurs first, a lobbyist must register with the Ethics Commission by filing a Lobbyist Registration Statement (Form LRS-1-2015) and a registration fee of $100 for each entity the lobbyist represents. West Virginia has a 2-year registration cycle where all lobbyist registrations expire at the end of each even-numbered year, and lobbyists must re-register by filing the same form before engaging in lobbying in the new year.

W. Va. Code § 6B-3-2: Registration of lobbyists

W. Va. Code § 6B-3-3a: Registration fees


All registered lobbyists in West Virginia must participate in formal training once per registration cycle. Training must be completed during a registration cycle in order for the lobbyist to be eligible to re-register for the next Legislative session. Formal training sessions are held throughout the year, with at least one session being held each January. Lobbyist training is now available online. 

W. Va. Code § 6B-3-3c: Lobbyist training course


All registered lobbyists are required to file a Lobbyist Activity Report and Schedules A and B every year on May 15th, September 15th, and January 15th, even if no lobbying was done in the previous reporting period.

W. Va. Code § 6B-3-4: Reporting by lobbyists

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
West Virginia Ethics Commission: Lobbyist InformationLobbyist Information
West Virginia Ethics Commission: Lobbyist RegistrationRegistration
West Virginia Ethics Commission: Lobbyist TrainingTraining
West Virginia Ethics Commission: Reporting Lobbyist Activity and SpendingReporting Lobbyist Activity and Spending
West Virginia Ethics Commission: Lobbyist Frequently Asked QuestionsFAQs
West Virginia Ethics Commission: Lobbyist Lists and Blank FormsLobbyist Lists and Blank Forms

Shipping Regulations

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.

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 §11-17-5: How tax paid; stamps; how affixed; violations.

W. Va. Code § 11-17-20: Transportation of unstamped cigarettes or tax-not-paid tobacco products; forfeitures and sales of cigarettes and equipment.


Additional information about licensing in West Virginia is available under the Operating Your Business tab above.

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. 

W. Va. Code § 16-9E-2: Requirements for delivery sales

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 § 11-17-3: Levy of tax; ration; dedication of proceeds

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.


Disclaimer: PCA believes the information on this site is accurate. However, tobacco laws and regulations are subject to frequent change and court interpretation. Statements above are not intended as legal advice or restatement of law. PCA does not guarantee or assume responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of this information, nor that this information complies with all federal laws or the laws of all 50 states. Parties acknowledge and agree it is not the intention of PCA to provide specific legal advice for particular individuals, but rather to provide users with general information to better understand these issues. Users shall neither construe any of these materials as legal advice nor make this site the primary basis for any legal decisions made by or on your behalf and agree to release and waive any claims against PCA for the same. You shall consult with legal advisors concerning any contemplated individual decision.