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Virginia does not have one rate for the entire state. Most of Virginia’s sales tax is 5.3 percent. However, some areas have different sales tax rates. The state also has several special and excise taxes. Virginia also uses e-Forms to file taxes. You do not have to register for an account. The state requires that you remit payment electronically – it does not accept paper checks.
Types of taxes
In addition to Virginia’s sales and use tax, the state has several other taxes, including a motor vehicle rental tax, peer-to-peer vehicle rental tax, and a food tax.
Sales and use tax
Virginia’s sales tax structure is a bit different from most other states. Most of state has a 5.3-percent sales and use tax rate. However, the following jurisdictions have their own tax rates:
- James City County.
- York County.
- Charlotte County.
- Gloucester County.
- Halifax County.
- Henry County.
- Northampton County.
- Patrick County.
- Charles City.
- Fairfax City.
- Fairfax County.
- Falls Church.
- Isle of Wight.
- Manassas Park.
- New Kent.
- Newport News.
- Prince William.
- Richmond City.
- Virginia Beach.
Alcoholic beverage taxes, non-food, and beverage items
In most regions in Virginia, retailers must add the 5.3-percent sales tax to wines and distilled spirits. Additionally, distilled spirits have a 20 percent state tax built into the retail price, and wine has a 4-percent state tax plus a $0.40 per liter wine tax built into the retail pricing.
Furthermore, the state levies a 2.5-percent sales tax on non-alcoholic beverage items. The retailer must add this tax at the register. A 5.3-percent sales tax is levied on non-food and beverage items in regions not mentioned below. This tax is also added at the register.
Instead of the 5.3-percent sales tax, the following regions have their own sales tax that retailers must add for retail sales of alcoholic beverages:
- Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads regions: 6 percent on wines and distilled spirits.
- Halifax County: 6.3 percent on wines and distilled spirits.
- The Historic Triangle: 7 percent on wines and distilled spirits.
- Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads regions: 6 percent on non-food and beverage items.
Automobile rental surcharge tax
Motor vehicle rental companies must add Virginia’s motor vehicle rental taxes to any vehicle rented for less than 12 months. The taxes are as follows:
- Rental of any vehicle weighing 26,000 pounds or less: 4 percent.
- Rental of any vehicle, regardless of weight, except motorcycles and mobile homes: 4 percent.
- Rental fee on any vehicle, regardless of weight, except motorcycles and mobile homes: 2 percent.
Businesses renting motor vehicles must collect all three taxes for a total of 10 percent. Exempt charges include:
- Pass-through charges.
- Violations, citations, fines, penalties, and fees.
- Transportaion charges.
- Delivery, pickup, drop, and recover charges.
- Refueling charges.
- Third-party service charges.
Peer-to-peer rentals, such as Uber or Lyft, file Form P2P tax return. If the platform has more than 10 vehicles registered to the business, the rental rates are the same as the motor vehicle rental rates above. Businesses with 10 or fewer vehicles registered to their platform pay a 7-percent tax.
Businesses must file online or request an electronic filing waiver request.
Soft drink excise tax
A business that has yearly gross receipts of:
- $100,000 or less: $50.00
- $100,001 through $250,000: $100.00
- $250,001 through $500,000: $250.00
- $500,001 through $1,000,000: $750.00
- $1,000,001 through $3,000,000: $1,500.00
- $3,000,001 through $5,000,000: $3,000.00
- $5,000,001 through $10,000,000: $4,500.00
- $10,000,000 through $25,000,000: $7,200
Food and personal hygiene
Business taxpayers in all areas of Virginia must collect and pay 2.5 percent sales tax on food and personal hygiene items.
Beer and wine cooler taxes
Virginia levies a tax on beer and wine coolers at the per barrel rate. The tax is paid by the bottler, manufacturer, or wholesaler upon the sale to licensed retailers. The taxes are as follows:
- $0.2565 per barrel of beer or wine cooler.
- $0.02 per bottle on bottles that are 7 or fewer ounces.
- $0.0265 on bottles of beer and wine coolers that are more than 7 ounces to 12 ounces.
- $0.0222 mills per ounce per bottle on bottles larger than 12 ounces.
The tax does not apply to beer and wine coolers that are shipped out of state for resale in another state or products sold to the United States Government, Department of Veterans Affairs, post exchanges for the United States Armed Forces, and otherwise exempt organizations.
Motor fuel taxes
Most consumers do not see the motor fuels taxes as the taxes are levied when the fuels leave the terminal rack. The state also has a storage tank fee. The following tax rates are per gallon:
- Gasoline: 26.2 cents.
- Diesel: 27 cents.
- Blended fuels – Gasoline: 26.2 cents.
- Blended fuels – Diesel: 27 cents.
- Aviation fuel: 26.2 cents.
- Alternative fuels: 26.2 cents.
- Storage Tank Fee: 0.2 cents.
Additionally, a wholesale sales tax of 2.1 percent is levied on fuels sold in Northern Virginia and the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission area.
Virginia levies a communications sales tax and additional taxes for telecommunications services, including:
- 5 percent communications sales tax.
- $0.75 E-911 fee for landlines and Voice Over Internet Protocol phones.
- $0.94 postpaid wireless E-911 tax for mobile phones.
- $0.63 prepaid wireless E-911 tax for mobile phones.
- $1.60 for right-of-way fees for cable TV franchises and landline phones.
Miscellaneous taxes on agriculture
Virginia has several agriculture taxes, including:
- Apple excise tax: 2.5 cents per tree run bushel for apples sold in Virginia. The apple farmer is liable for the tax. The tax is levied on producers who market at least 5,000 tree-run bushels per calendar year.
- Cattle assessment: $0.50 per head for the sale of all calves or cattle. The assessment does not apply to the sale of dairy cows used for milking, animals that sell less than $100 per head, or cattle weighing 99 or fewer pounds. The business that conducts the sale deducts the assessment from the farmer.
- Corn: $0.01 per bushel grown to sell in Virginia. The processor, shipper, dealer, exporter, or country buyer deducts the assessment from the farmer.
- Cotton: $0.95 per bale sold in Virginia. The gin company deducts the assessment from the farmer.
- Eggs: $0.05 per case of shell eggs (30 dozen) or $0.11 per hundred pounds of liquid eggs. The handler that sells less than 500 cases per year is exempt from the assessment. Handlers selling eggs to other handlers are also exempt.
- Forest products: The first manufacturer, except small servers, pays the forest products tax. If there is no handler, the severer pays the tax. Tax rates vary based on the type of lumber.
- Peanut excise tax: $0.25 on every 100 pounds grown and sold in Virginia to a processor. The processor pays the tax.
- Sheep: $0.50 per head sold in Virginia. The handler deducts the tax from the farmer.
- Small grains assessment: One-half of one percent of the price per bushel produced in Virginia. The handler deducts the assessment from the amount paid to the farmer.
- Soybeans: One-half of one percent of the net market value of soybeans purchased. The business or person who buys the soybeans first from the farmer collects the tax from the farmer.
Registering for and filing Virginia’s taxes
You do not need a password or an account to use eForms. They are similar to the paper version. The web upload method uses a file you upload. This is more convenient for businesses with several types of taxes or more than one location.
Sales tax and use tax return due dates
Virginia figures your sales tax due date filing frequency. Monthly filers must remit taxes on or before the 20th of the month following the collection month. Quarterly filers must remit taxes on or before the last day of the quarter (March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31).
State sales tax returns are due even if a business did not have any reportable sales during the collection period.
Virginia sales tax holiday
Virginia had a sales tax holiday in 2021 but has not listed dates for 2022 as of yet. Businesses can check the Virginia Tax website for upcoming dates.
Remote and marketplace sellers
Remote sellers and marketplace facilitators must register to pay Virginia’s sales taxes if their gross receipts are over $100,000 or they had 200 or more individual transactions for the previous year. While small businesses do not have to collect or register to pay taxes, most do as a convenience for the customers.
If a consumer purchases taxable tangible personal property from an out-of-state seller and does not pay taxes, the consumer must pay the use tax on the items.
Virginia’s sales tax is 5.3 percent in most places. Certain counties and cities have different tax rates.
Businesses that need an exemption certificate for reselling goods can print the resale certificate. The purchasing agent must give a completed copy to the seller and keep a completed copy for the business’s records.