West Virginia – Updated Food Tax Publication

SALT Report 2795 – The West Virginia State Tax Department updated its publication regarding the application of sales and use tax to certain food items.  The publication was updated to reflect that the tax on sales, purchases and uses of food and food ingredients intended for human consumption has been eliminated.  However, the 6% sales tax still applies to sales, purchases, and uses of prepared food, food sold through vending machines, and soft drinks.

For purposes of the exemption, food and food ingredients are defined as substances, whether in liquid, concentrated, solid, frozen, dried or dehydrated form, that are sold for ingestion or chewing by humans and are consumed for their taste or nutritional value. This definition does not include alcoholic beverages, prepared food, or tobacco.

The exemption from tax also applies to sales of dietary supplements.  Dietary supplements include any product that:

1) Is intended to supplement the diet,

2) Contains one or more of the following ingredients:

  • Vitamins,
  • Minerals,
  • Herbs or other botanicals,
  • Amino acids,
  • A dietary substance for use by humans to increase the total dietary intake
  • Concentrates, metabolites, constituents, extracts or a combination of any of the above ingredients

3)  Is intended for ingestion in tablet, capsule, powder, softgel, gelcap, or liquid form.  Or, if not intended for ingestion in the above form, is not represented as a conventional food and is not represented for use as a sole item of a meal or of the diet, and

4)  Is required to be labeled as a dietary supplement, identifiable by a     “Supplemental Facts” box found on the label

The publication provides a complete list of exempt and non-exempt food items as well as guidance on how to apply tax to bundled transactions.

For Further Information

West Virginia State Tax Department – TSD-419