West Virginia State Excise Taxes 2016 - Fuel, Cigarette, and Alcohol Taxes
20.50¢ per gallon
55¢ per pack
$1.89 per gal
$1.00 per gal
18¢ per gal
- What are West Virginia's Excise Taxes?
- West Virginia General Excise Taxes
- West Virginia Alcohol Taxes
What is an Excise Tax?
An excise tax is a tax directly levied on certain goods by a state or federal government. The most prominent excise taxes collected by the West Virginia state government are the fuel tax on gasoline and the so-called "sin tax" collected on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages.
An excise tax is not the same thing as the West Virginia Sales Tax.The West Virginia Sales Tax is collected as a percentage of the final purchase price of all qualifying sales, and is collected directly from the end consumer of the product.
West Virginia's excise taxes, on the other hand, are flat per-unit taxes that must be paid directly to the West Virginia government by the merchant before the goods can be sold. Merchants may be required to attach tax stamps to taxable merchandise to show that the excise tax was paid.
Even though excise taxes are collected from businesses, virtually all West Virginia merchants pass on the excise tax to the customer through higher prices for the taxed goods.
West Virginia per capita excise tax
West Virginia collects an average of $670 in yearly excise taxes per capita, one of the highest average per capita excise taxes in the country.
West Virginia General Excise Taxes - Gasoline, Cigarettes, and More
West Virginia collects general excise taxes on the sale of motor fuel (gasoline and diesel), cigarettes (per pack), and cell phone service plans. Other general taxes, similar to excise taxes, may be collected on other items including firearms, vehicle sales, gas guzzlers, transportation tickets, tanning salons, and more.
West Virginia Gas Tax9th highest gas tax
The West Virginia excise tax on gasoline is 20.50¢ per gallon, one of the highest gas taxes in the country. West Virginia's excise tax on gasoline is ranked #9 out of the 50 states. The West Virginia gas tax is included in the pump price at all gas stations in West Virginia.
West Virginia Cigarette Tax43rd highest cigarette tax
The West Virginia excise tax on cigarettes is $0.55 per 20 cigarettes, one of the lowest cigarettes taxes in the country. West Virginia's excise tax on cigarettes is ranked #43 out of the 50 states. The West Virginia cigarette tax of $0.55 is applied to every 20 cigarettes sold (the size of an average pack of cigarettes). If a pack contains more then 20 cigarettes, a higher excise tax will be collected.
West Virginia Cellphone Tax46th highest cellphone tax
The average tax collected on cell phone plans in West Virginia is $6.23 per phone service plan, one of the lowest cellphone taxes in the country. West Virginia's average cellphone tax is ranked #46 out of the 50 states. The West Virginia cellphone tax is already included in the service plan price you pay to your service provider, and may be listed as "Misc. taxes and Fees" or "Other" on your monthly bill.
West Virginia Car Tax
West Virginia collects a registration fee and a title fee on the sale or transfer of cars and motorcycles, which are essentially renamed excise taxes. Unlike standard excise taxes, however, the end consumer must pay the tax directly to the West Virginia Department of Transportation and receive documentation (registration and title papers) proving the fees were paid.
West Virginia Alcohol Excise Taxes - Liquor, Wine, and Beer
West Virginia collects special excise taxes on the sale of all types of alcohol, subdivided into specific taxes on wine, beer, and liquor (hard alcohol other then wine and beer). Alcohol taxes are sometimes collectively referred to as "sin taxes", which also include excise taxes on cigarettes, gambling, drugs, and certain other items.
Please note that the IRS also collects a federal excise taxes on alcoholic beverages, which are included separately from West Virginia's alcohol taxes in the final purchase price.
West Virginia Beer Tax32nd highest beer tax
The West Virginia excise tax on beer is $0.18 per gallon, lower then 64% of the other 50 states. West Virginia's beer excise tax is ranked #32 out of the 50 states. The West Virginia beer tax is already added to the purchase price of all beer bought in West Virginia, whether in kegs, bottles, or cans.
West Virginia Wine Tax20th highest wine tax
The West Virginia excise tax on Wine is $1.00 per gallon, higher then 60% of the other 50 states. West Virginia's excise tax on wine is ranked #20 out of the 50 states. The West Virginia wine tax is already added to the purchase price of all wine bought in West Virginia.
West Virginia Liquor Tax48th highest liquor tax
The West Virginia excise tax on liquor is $1.89 per gallon, one of the lowest liquor taxes in the country. West Virginia's excise tax on Spirits is ranked #48 out of the 50 states. All liquor stores in West Virginia are state-owned. As a result so excise taxes for hard alcohol sales are set by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) and not by the state. The West Virginia liquor tax applies to all hard alcohol (alchoholic beverages other then beer and wine), and is already included in the purchase price by the retailer.
West Virginia Excise Tax Deductions & Refunds
Can I deduct my West Virginia Excise taxes?
Unlike the West Virginia Sales Tax, excise taxes are not generally deductible on West Virginia income tax returns or on your federal tax return. However, the IRS occasionally allows certain excise taxes to be deducted for certain tax years.
- Vehicle Tax Deduction
- West Virginia sales and excise taxes on cars or vehicles bought during 2009 may be deducted once from your federal tax return. You cannot deduct excise taxes for vehicles bought during other years.
- Phone Tax Deduction
- You may deduct excise taxes paid on long-distance phone calls between the years of 2003 and 2006 from your federal tax return.
Can I get a West Virginia Excise Tax Refund?
While sales tax refunds are available for goods that are purchased in West Virginia and exported, West Virginia excise taxes paid on goods are generally non-refundable. Incentives may exist allowing certain state of federal excise taxes to be refunded on goods bought for specific uses, but such incentives change frequently.
West Virginia Excise Tax - References
- Tax Foundation, State Excise Tax Collections Per Capita, Updated 2009
- Tax Foundation, Gasoline Excise Taxes, Updated 2012
- Tax Foundation, Cigarette Excise Taxes, Updated 2012
- Tax Foundation, Liquor Excise Taxes, Updated 2011
- Tax Foundation, Beer Excise Tax Rates, Updated 2012
- Tax Foundation, Average Wine Taxes, Updated 2011
- Tax Foundation, Average Cell Phone Taxes, Updated 2010