During the 2017 Session, the Virginia General Assembly enacted House Bill 1913 and Senate Bill 1390 (2017 Acts of Assembly, Chapters 112 and 453), which require the possession of a newly created Department-issued exemption certificate to purchase cigarettes bearing Virginia revenue stamps for resale exempt from Retail Sales and Use Tax beginning January 1, 2018.  

Taxpayers who meet certain criteria will go through an expedited process with no application fee, waiting period, or background investigation. Taxpayers qualifying for the expedited process will include: i) taxpayers possessing an active license, in good standing issued by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to sell alcohol; ii) taxpayers possessing an active tobacco products tax distributor's license in good standing, issued by the Department; and iii) such other categories of taxpayers as identified by the Department.

The legislation requires the Department to develop guidelines regarding the exemption certificate with provisions including, but not limited to: i) defining categories of taxpayers who qualify for the expedited process, ii) prescribing the form of the applications for the cigarette exemption certificate, iii) establishing procedures for suspending and revoking the certificate, and v) establishing procedures for renewing the certificate.

To increase government transparency and facilitate the guideline development process, the Department solicited comments regarding the development of the guidelines.  Interested parties were given a 60 day period to comment on the Draft Guidelines.   

These Final Guidelines were issued August 21, 2017.

Legislative Documents

House Bill 1913 (2017)

Senate Bill 1390 (2017)

Guideline Development Documents