June 15th, 2007
West Virginia passed legislation to change from a reciprocal state to a permit state. All wineries will have to obtain a direct shipping permit and pay taxes. Corporations will also have to register with the West Virginia Secretary of State.
The West Virginia Direct Shipper Application, instructions and tax forms are now available on the Wine Institute website. Effective July 1, 2007 wineries are required to have a Direct Shipper’s License to ship wine to a resident of West Virginia. Wineries must complete the Direct Wine Shipper Application and pay a license fee of $150 to ship wines with an alcohol content of 14% or less. The license fee is $250 to ship wines with an alcohol content of more than 14%. The Direct Shipper’s Application requires applicants to request a Letter of Good Standing from their state of domicile and provide a list of brands that are to be shipped to WV. A licensed winery may ship no more than 2 cases of wine per month to a consumer. Shipments to dry areas are prohibited.
All wineries must register with the Department of Tax and Revenue and obtain a Tax ID number by completing form WV/ BUS-APP. Wineries, since they are involved in the business of agriculture, are exempt from the $30 registration fee. Applicants should allow 4-5 weeks for their applications to be processed; applications may be faxed to 304-558-8754 to expedite the process. Wineries are required to submit monthly reports and pay sales, municipal and excise tax. The sales tax rate is 6% and the municipal tax rate is 5%.
Corporations are required to register with the Secretary of State and obtain a Certificate of Authority. The Secretary of State requires corporations to pay the following annual fees:
1) License tax for full year beginning in July of $250
2) Registration fee of $100 and
3) Attorney in-fact fee $25. The licensee fee and attorney in-fact fee are prorated for parts of years on a calendar basis.
West Virginia will allow wineries who have applied for a Direct Shipper’s License to continue to ship to consumers while their application is being processed if the winery attaches copies of their Business Registration form and application for a Certificate of Authority (if required) to their Direct Shipper’s Application.