Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 58.1. Taxation
Chapter 10. Cigarette Tax
8/13/2022

§ 58.1-1021.02. Tax on tobacco products.

A. In addition to all other taxes now imposed by law, there is hereby imposed a tax upon the privilege of selling or dealing in tobacco products in the Commonwealth by any person engaged in business as a distributor or remote retail seller thereof, at the following rates:

1. Upon each package of moist snuff, at the rate of $0.18 per ounce with a proportionate tax at the same rate on all fractional parts of an ounce. The tax shall be computed based on the net weight as listed by the manufacturer on the package in accordance with federal law.

2. For purposes of the tax under this article, loose leaf tobacco shall be classified as loose leaf tobacco single-units, loose leaf tobacco half pound-units, and loose leaf tobacco pound-units. Such tax shall be imposed on the distributor for loose leaf tobacco as follows:

a. $0.21 for each loose leaf tobacco single-unit;

b. $0.40 for each loose leaf tobacco half pound-unit;

c. $0.70 for each loose leaf tobacco pound-unit; and

d. For any other unit, pouch, or package of loose leaf tobacco, the tax shall be by net weight and shall be $0.21 per unit, pouch, or package plus $0.21 for each increment of 4 ounces or portion thereof that the loose leaf tobacco exceeds 16 ounces.

The tax for each unit, pouch, or package of loose leaf tobacco shall be in accordance with the provisions of subdivisions a. through d. only and regardless of sales price.

3. Upon tobacco products other than moist snuff or loose leaf tobacco, at the rate of 10 percent of the manufacturer's sales price of such tobacco products.

Upon cigars and pipe tobacco products sold by remote retail sellers, the tax rates delineated in this subdivision shall apply to:

(a) The actual cost; or

(b) If the actual cost is not available, the average of the actual cost over the 12 calendar months before January 1 of the year in which the sale occurs.

Such tax shall be imposed at the time the remote retail seller located within or outside the Commonwealth makes a remote retail sale to a consumer within the Commonwealth. It is the intent and purpose of this subdivision that the remote retail seller be liable for the tax. It is further the intent and purpose of this article to impose the tax once, and only once on all tobacco products, including cigars and pipe tobacco sold in the Commonwealth.

Such tax shall be imposed on tobacco products (i) at the time of retail sale by a retail dealer or distributor; (ii) at the time the distributor makes, manufactures, or fabricates tobacco products in the Commonwealth for sale in the Commonwealth; or (iii) at the time the distributor ships or transports tobacco products to retailers in the Commonwealth to be sold by those retailers. It is the intent and purpose of this article that the distributor who first possesses the tobacco product subject to this tax in the Commonwealth shall be the distributor liable for the tax. It is further the intent and purpose of this article to impose the tax once, and only once on all tobacco products for sale in the Commonwealth.

B. No tax shall be imposed pursuant to this section upon tobacco products not within the taxing power of the Commonwealth under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.

C. A distributor that calculates and pays the tax pursuant to subdivision A 1 or A 2 in good faith reliance on the net weight listed by the manufacturer on the package or on the manufacturer's invoice shall not be liable for additional tax, or for interest or penalties, solely by reason of a subsequent determination that such weight information was incorrect.

2004, Sp. Sess. I, c. 3; 2005, c. 71; 2010, cc. 191, 804; 2022, cc. 738, 779.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.