Who must pay litter tax?

Every Virginia manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor and retailer of products in the following categories is subject to the tax:

  • food for human or pet consumption
  • groceries
  • cigarettes and tobacco products
  • soft drinks and carbonated waters
  • beer and other malt beverages
  • wine
  • newspapers and magazines
  • motor vehicle parts
  • paper products and household paper
  • glass containers
  • metal containers
  • plastic or fiber containers made of synthetic material
  • cleaning agents and toiletries
  • non-drug drugstore sundry products
  • distilled spirits

The tax does not apply to establishments that sell snacks or soft drinks as a convenience to employees or customers incidental to normal business operations such as nursing homes, hospitals (except gift shops and cafeterias in hospitals), dry cleaners, laundromats, antiques shops, repair garages, or companies that maintain "honor system" boxes.

It also does not apply to individuals raising and selling agricultural produce and eggs at local farmers markets and stands, as long as their income from those sales is less than $1,000 and they use previously used containers to package any purchased goods (Va. Code § 58.1-1707).  

Businesses become liable for the tax the first January 1 that the location is in business. If you start after January 1, you are not responsible for the litter tax until the following year. 

Register for litter tax. 

Tax Rates

Businesses must pay $10 per business location , and an additional $15 for each location that manufactures, sells, or distributes groceries, soft drinks, or beer.  

For example, if you own a grocery store chain and have 10 locations in Virginia, you will owe $25 for each grocery store, or $250 total.  

Due date

Litter tax (Form 200) is due May 1 each year for the preceding calendar year. There is no provision for extension. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, you may file on the next business day.  

How to file and pay

File electronically (free) 
If you need to file on paper, mail Form 200 to:

Virginia Department of Taxation
P.O. Box 2185
Richmond, Virginia 23218-2185

Make checks payable to: Virginia Department of Taxation

Penalties for late filing or late payment

If you file or pay after May 1, the penalty is 100% of the tax due. In addition, interest will accrue on the tax due from the due date through the date of payment.

Interest

Virginia law requires the accrual of interest on any balance of unpaid tax from the due date for payment through the date the tax is paid. Interest charges apply to late payments, as well as additional balances assessed from amended returns or audit adjustments.

Interest is accrued at the federal underpayment rate established under Internal Revenue Code Section 6621, plus 2%. The rate is subject to change at the beginning of each calendar quarter.

Interest is not accrued on late filing or penalties at the initial point of assessment. If an assessment remains unpaid for longer than thirty days, interest will accrue on the entire balance due, including penalty and interest, from the date of assessment through the date of payment. Interest is accrued on late payment penalties at the initial point of assessment from the due date for payment through the date of assessment.