In Virginia, licensed stamping agents pay the cigarette tax, and affix cigarette stamps to the packs and cartons of cigarettes. They’re supposed to do so before shipping the cigarettes to retail outlets.
As a retailer, you should inspect each shipment of cigarettes for stamps. If you find any unstamped cigarettes, remove them from inventory, mark them as not for sale, and return them to the supplier.
Cigarette tax audits
We conduct random inspections of retailers. Anyone who is found to possess more than 30 packs of unstamped cigarettes is presumed to be evading taxes. Possessing unstamped cigarettes for the purpose of evading taxes carries civil penalties ranging from $2.50 per pack up to $250,000.
Possession of up to 3,000 packs of unstamped cigarettes is a class 2 misdemeanor. Possessing more than 3,000 packs of unstamped cigarettes is a class 6 felony.
Roll-your-own Cigarette Machines
Retailers who install roll-your-own cigarette machines are considered cigarette manufacturers. You’ll find more information on our cigarette manufacturers page.