West Virginia Sales Tax Guide
Chapter 8: Understanding West Virginia sales tax rules for shipping & handling
Selling products in West Virginia? Know this: West Virginia is different than most states because shipping is taxable even if the product you are shipping is exempt from sales tax. If you have nexus in the state, you should be collecting sales tax on shipping and handling, with just two minor exceptions.
Is Shipping Taxable in West Virginia?
Yes, in West Virginia, shipping, delivery, and handling charges are taxable, with the cost of the product, plus the shipping charges being your taxable basis. You must apply the statewide rate, and your county may also tack on an additional tax. The rates vary, so check with the West Virginia Department of Revenue to learn the local rates.
The rule applies whether you use your own vehicles or a common carrier to deliver your products to customers. Additionally, the same rule applies whether you are shipping items to your store to sell at retail or directly to your customer.
It’s important to understand that you are responsible for collecting a tax rate on the amount you charge customers for shipment and delivery — not the actual cost you paid to send the product. So if something takes you $10 to deliver, but your charge the customer $100, you must tax the $100 delivery charge.
Exceptions to the Rule
If the delivery is made by a common carrier subject to regulation by the West Virginia Public Service Commission or if your customer pays a third-party to deliver the product, you shouldn’t tax the delivery charges.
West Virginia Sales Tax Mistakes
Obviously if you’re not collecting sales tax on shipping and handling for tax-exempt products in West Virginia, you’ve messed up. It’s easy to see how you could be making that mistake because the rule is fairly unusual. Sales tax is tricky, varying from state to state, and even locality to locality, and that’s why so many businesses turn to Avalara TrustFile to take the guesswork out of filing their sales taxes.