Retailers

Retail dealer means and includes every person who, in the usual course of business, purchases or receives cigarettes from any source whatsoever, for the purpose of sale or distribution within the jurisdictions covered by the Board, to the ultimate consumer.

  • Retail businesses selling cigarettes can only purchase them from registered agents. Click here to see a list of NVCTB authorized registered agents.
  • Retail businesses must provide to the registered agent the business trade name and business address of the location where the cigarettes will be placed for sale to the public.
  • Cigarettes purchased for personal use cannot be brought into a business for resale.
  • Only properly registered and licensed retail stores may sell cigarettes to the public. To be properly registered and licensed, a retail store must first have a valid Virginia state sales and use tax certificate and valid retail business license.
  • Prior to selling any cigarettes from your retail location, check with the Tax office of the jurisdiction where your business is located to make sure that you are in compliance with their business registration requirements.
  • Cigarettes must be purchased and stored separately for each business location. Transferring cigarettes from one business location to another is illegal and are subject to confiscation.
  • All copies of cigarette purchase invoices/receipts must be retained by the retailer for a period of three years and shall be made available to Agents of the NVCTB upon request for use in conducting audits and investigations.
  • All copies of cigarette purchase invoices/receipts must be stored at the business retail location for a period of one year from date of purchase.
  • Failure to provide cigarette invoices/receipts may result in confiscation of cigarettes until receipts can be reviewed by the Board to verify the proper tax has been paid.
  • It is the responsibility of each retail location to make sure that all cigarettes placed for sale or stored at that location are properly taxed and stamped. See below for sample of the NVCTB stamp.
  • Cigarettes found without the NVCTB stamp or the proper jurisdictional tax paid will be seized by the Agents of the NVCTB.
  • Retail dealers must make their place of business available for inspection by Tobacco Revenue Agents to make sure that all cigarettes are properly tax-stamped and all cigarette taxes are properly paid.
  • Any person violating any of the provisions of local ordinances shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $2,500 or imprisonment for not more than twelve months or by both such fine and imprisonment. Such fine and/or imprisonment shall not relieve any such person from the payment of any tax, penalty or interest imposed by the ordinances.

Please contact the Northern Virginia Cigarette Tax Board (NVCTB) by phone at 703-802-0373 or email at [email protected], should you have any questions.

Appealing Cigarette Seizure/Confiscation

If cigarettes have been seized/confiscated during a physical inspection by a NVCTB Agent, the retailer may file a written request for a hearing before the Administrator for an informal presentation of evidence showing that the cigarettes were erroneously seized and request these be returned to the retailer.

Click here for more information about the appeal process.