Overview of Virginia Consumer Tax Laws
Consumer taxes apply to general retail purchases by consumers, gambling, gasoline, alcoholic beverages, and gasoline. State consumer taxes help bring in revenue for infrastructure projects, education, law enforcement, and other state services. The gasoline tax in Virginia is a relatively low 11.1 cents per gallon, while excise tax on wine and distilled spirits is added at the register at the time of purchase.
Retailers in the state, who add sales tax to the cost of goods and services at the point of sale, pay the tax directly to the Virginia Department of Taxation on a quarterly basis. The state applies a lower 1.5 percent tax rate on food purchased for human consumption (which would exclude pet food), which typically totals 2.5 percent when local taxes are added.
When am I Obligated to Pay Use Tax in Virginia?
If you purchase a good or service tax-free in another state, but bring it to Virginia for storage or use, you may be subject to use tax. So if you buy a computer for your business in Oregon (which doesn't have sales tax) and bring it back to Virginia for use, you will be obligated to pay taxes comparable to in-state sales tax. Out-of-state mail order purchases of $100 or less are exempt from use tax.
The following chart lists Virginia's consumer taxes, which are always subject to change. See FindLaw's Tax Law section for additional articles and resources, including State-Specific Taxpayer Assistance and State Tax Forms and Publications.
|Sales Tax||5.3% §58.1-603|
|Cigarette Tax||30¢ per pack of 20 §§58.1-1001|
|Gasoline Tax per Gallon||11.1¢ §58.1-2217|
|Use Tax||5.3% §58.1-604|
|Liquor Tax||Beer 26¢ per gallon, Wine and distilled spirits 5.3 - 6% sales tax added at the register §§4.1-234, 236|
|Gambling Tax||Boxing and wrestling: <$100,000 gross receipts 5% plus 2.5% of remainder; Horseracing: 1 + 3% of the pool §§54.1-833, 59.1-392|
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Virginia tax law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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