Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 58.1. Taxation
11/15/2019

Article 1. Commissioners of the Revenue.

§ 58.1-3100. Interpretation of "commissioner.".

As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the terms "commissioner" and "commissioner of the revenue" shall be interpreted to include both city and county commissioners of the revenue. The term shall also include the director of finance and any other officer of any county or city if such officer performs any or all of the duties of the commissioner of the revenue described herein.

1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3101. County commissioner of the revenue to keep an office at county seat; removal to other place.

Each county commissioner of the revenue shall keep an office at the county seat of his county or at such other point in the county as the governing body of the county deems to be more convenient to a majority of its citizens.

Code 1950, § 58-853; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3102. Jurisdiction of commissioners.

The jurisdiction, powers and duties of commissioners shall not extend beyond the bounds of their respective counties or cities.

Code 1950, § 58-854; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3103. When commissioners begin work; commissioners to make assessments.

Each commissioner shall begin annually, on the first day of January, to discharge the duties prescribed by law. As part of his duties each commissioner of the revenue shall ascertain and assess, at fair market value, all subjects of taxation in his county or city on the first day of January in each year, except as otherwise provided by law. For each such assessment of local mobile property tax as defined in § 58.1-3983.1, prior to the time that any tax with respect to such assessment is due, the commissioner or other local tax official shall provide in writing to each applicable taxpayer: (i) the amount of the assessment and a description of the property; (ii) the valuation method used; (iii) the date the applicable taxes will be due; and (iv) a description of the procedures available to the taxpayer and the records required should he wish to appeal the assessment.

Code 1950, §§ 58-855, 58-864; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 4; 1984, c. 675; 2004, c. 534.

§ 58.1-3104. Commissioner of the revenue entitled to books and papers of predecessor.

The commissioner shall apply for and be entitled to the official books and papers of his predecessor. The person in possession of such materials shall deliver them upon application.

Code 1950, § 58-856; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3105. Tax Commissioner to instruct commissioners of the revenue.

The Tax Commissioner shall provide instructions to the commissioners of the revenue in respect to their duties.

Code 1950, § 58-857; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3106. How compensation of commissioners paid; when compensation withheld.

A. All compensation payable to a commissioner of the revenue shall be paid pursuant to § 15.2-1636.13.

B. The compensation allowed to a commissioner shall not be paid unless he has punctually performed his duties in reference to the assessment of property and licenses and has made all reports required within the time prescribed by law or can show to the satisfaction of the Department of Taxation a sufficient reason for his delay.

Code 1950, §§ 58-890, 58-891; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3107. Commissioner of the revenue to obtain returns from taxpayers.

Each commissioner of the revenue shall obtain full and complete tax returns from every taxpayer within his jurisdiction who is liable under the law to file such return with him for all taxes assessed by his office. This duty of the commissioner of the revenue to obtain such returns shall in no manner diminish the obligation of the taxpayer to file the required returns without being called upon to do so by the commissioner of the revenue or any other officer.

Code 1950, § 58-859; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3108. Commissioner to render taxpayer assistance and may go to convenient places to receive returns; advertisement by commissioner.

A. Each commissioner of the revenue shall render such taxpayer assistance as may be necessary for the preparation of any return required by law to be filed with his office. Such commissioners may go to convenient public places within the county or city for the purpose of receiving state and local tax returns. Compliance by the commissioner of the revenue with this section shall not relieve him of the duty to obtain tax returns as required by § 58.1-3107.

B. Each commissioner shall advertise, in some newspaper of general circulation in the city or county, at least once during the thirty days prior to the time fixed by law for filing returns without penalty, the location of the commissioner's office, the location of such branch offices as he may establish, and the hours of the day, not less than eight hours each day, during which such office or offices shall be open for business. Such advertisement shall state the time when returns of taxpayers must be filed.

Code 1950, §§ 58-861, 58-862; 1982, cc. 114, 466; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3109. Duties of commissioners as to personal property, income and licenses.

Each commissioner of the revenue shall:

1. Review the lists of all persons licensed by the commissioner of the revenue and assess, for the current license year, additional license taxes for any person who has reported less than the law requires;

2. Upon investigation, assess the proper license taxes for any person who has without a license conducted any business for which a license is required;

3. Review, in regard to intangible personal property and income, such returns of taxpayers as may be referred to him by the Department of Taxation and report to the Department, for assessment, any additional intangible personal property and income when his review or investigation discloses that such property or income has not been reported for taxation or has been reported for taxation at less than the law requires;

4. Examine causes pending in the courts of his county or city and the records thereof and ascertain and assess all property and income subject to assessment by his office;

5. Require every taxpayer who may not have properly returned to the commissioner of the revenue all of his tangible and intangible personal property, and licenses for the current tax year and the three preceding tax years to make the proper and complete return;

6. Require taxpayers or their agents or any person, firm or officer of a company or corporation to furnish information relating to tangible or intangible personal property, income or license taxes of any and all taxpayers; and require such persons to furnish access to books of account or other papers and records for the purpose of verifying the tax returns of such taxpayers and procuring the information necessary to make a complete assessment of any taxpayer's tangible and intangible personal property, and license taxes for the current tax year and the three preceding tax years;

7. Make such reports to the Department of Taxation as may be required by law or as the rules and regulations adopted by the Tax Commissioner may require;

8. Upon written request of any town treasurer or director of finance or other officer who performs the duties of a treasurer and whose locality is located within such commissioner's jurisdiction, provide the name, address and social security number of any taxpayer who has filed a personal property tax return with such commissioner of the revenue, as long as such town treasurer or director of finance or other officer who performs the duties of a treasurer shall certify that such information is sought in the performance of official duties. Any town official to whom information is furnished pursuant to this provision shall be bound by the provisions and penalties of § 58.1-3; and

9. Notify the animal control officer of the presence of any commercial dog breeder, as defined in § 3.2-6500, operating within the locality.

Code 1950, §§ 58-865, 58-874; 1980, c. 317; 1984, c. 675; 1991, cc. 8, 448; 2008, c. 852.

§ 58.1-3110. Power to summon taxpayers and other persons.

A. The commissioner may, for the purpose of assessing all taxes assessable by his office, summon the taxpayer or any other person to appear before him at his office, to answer, under oath, questions touching the tax liability of any and all specifically identified taxpayers and to produce documents relating to such tax liability, either or both. For the purposes of administering this section, commissioners and their deputies may administer oaths. The commissioner shall not, however, summon a taxpayer or other person for the tax liability of the taxpayer which is the subject of litigation.

B. Any court of competent jurisdiction may, upon the application of the commissioner or his deputy, compel the compliance of a taxpayer summoned or required to produce documents as required by this section.

C. Every writ, warrant, notice, summons, or other process the commissioner is authorized to issue pursuant to general or local law may be served by the commissioner, or his deputy, or may be directed to the sheriff to be served pursuant to § 8.01-292 and executed and returned in like manner as the civil process of a court of competent jurisdiction.

Code 1950, §§ 58-860, 58-874; 1980, c. 317; 1982, c. 536; 1984, c. 675; 1986, c. 35; 1987, c. 377; 2015, c. 378.

§ 58.1-3111. Penalties.

Any person who refuses to (i) furnish to the commissioner of the revenue access to books of account or other papers and records, (ii) furnish information to the commissioner of the revenue relating to the assessment of taxes, (iii) answer under oath questions touching any person's tax liability, or (iv) exhibit to the commissioner of the revenue any subject of taxation liable to assessment by the commissioner of the revenue, shall be deemed guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. Each day's refusal to furnish such access or information shall constitute a separate offense. No person other than the taxpayer shall be convicted under this section unless he has willfully failed to comply with a summons properly issued under § 58.1-3110.

Code 1950, § 58-875; 1980, c. 317; 1984, c. 675; 1990, c. 162; 2002, c. 363.

§ 58.1-3112. Commissioner to preserve returns; destruction of returns; penalty.

A. The commissioner of the revenue shall preserve in a permanent file in his office all returns of tangible personal property, machinery and tools, and merchants' capital.

B. The commissioner may, in his discretion, subject to the requirements of the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.), destroy any returns, collected by the commissioner of the revenue, which have been on file in his office for at least six years after the tax assessment year. Any commissioner who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

C. In lieu of retaining the original returns in his office for at least six years after the tax assessment year, the commissioner, with the consent of the local governing body, may have the original returns copied. Any such copies shall be on a durable medium that complies with the requirements of the Virginia Public Records Act. After copying, the original returns may be destroyed in accordance with the provisions of § 15.2-1412, and the copies shall be retained in accordance with the provisions of subsections A and B of this section, mutatis mutandis. Any such copy may be used in any legal proceeding if the copy is authenticated in accordance with applicable law.

Code 1950, §§ 58-876, 58-877; 1968, c. 627; 1984, c. 675; 1996, c. 323.

§ 58.1-3113. Returns of intangible personal property forwarded to Department.

All returns which are used for the assessment of intangible personal property shall be transmitted by the commissioner of the revenue to the Department of Taxation at its office in Richmond, after the commissioner of the revenue has recorded the assessments on such property in his assessment books.

Code 1950, § 58-878; 1956, c. 69; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3114. Books and certain forms of returns to be furnished by Department.

The Department of Taxation shall prescribe the form of the personal property book to be used by the commissioner of the revenue and shall furnish each commissioner of the revenue with three copies of blank personal property books prepared in the form so prescribed. The Department of Taxation shall also prepare and forward to the commissioners of the revenue (i) the printed forms of land or other tax books required by law and (ii) the blank forms of returns to be filed by taxpayers.

Code 1950, §§ 58-858, 58-879; 1981, c. 158; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3115. Arrangement and contents of books.

In making out assessment books, the commissioner of the revenue shall arrange them alphabetically to show the persons chargeable with taxes. When there are two or more persons of the same name, he shall use some distinguishing sign by which the taxpayer may be identified. The address of each taxpayer shall be given.

The commissioner of the revenue shall, in making out the original personal property book and the two copies thereof, follow strictly the form prescribed by the Department of Taxation.

All taxable tangible personal property and all other subjects of taxation not required by law to be assessed on some other book or form shall be entered in the personal property book.

Code 1950, § 58-881; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 4; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3116. Department may prescribe separate books for state and local levies.

Nothing herein contained shall be construed as prohibiting the Department of Taxation from prescribing a separate personal property book for the assessment of state taxes and a separate personal property book for the assessment of local levies.

Code 1950, § 58-882; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3117. Disposition of supplemental assessment sheets.

All supplemental assessment sheets prescribed by the Department of Taxation and used for the assessment of taxes and levies during any current tax year, after the regular assessment books have been completed, shall be disposed of in the same manner as are the regular assessment books.

Code 1950, § 58-883; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3118. Commissioner to retain original personal property book; reproduction of book; disposition of copies.

Each commissioner of the revenue shall retain in his office the original personal property book. Each commissioner of the revenue shall deliver one certified copy of the personal property book to the treasurer of his county or city and, if requested by the Department in writing, to the Department of Taxation. The personal property books may be produced in the form of microfilm, microfiche, any other similar microphotographic process, or by electronic means and shall be distributed as designated in that form so long as such process complies with standards adopted pursuant to regulations issued under § 42.1-82 for microfilm, microfiche, other similar microphotographic process, or electronic means and is acceptable to and meets the requirement of the recipients of copies of the personal property book as designated by this section. For failure to deliver the copies in the manner herein provided by September 1 of each year, or within 90 days from the date the rate of tax on personal property has been determined, whichever date shall occur last, the commissioner of the revenue shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $200 and he shall not be paid any compensation which he may be due, payable out of the state treasury, for making out such books. But the Department of Taxation may, for good cause and upon written notice to the county or city treasurer and local governing body, extend the time of delivery for such books.

The treasurer and the commissioner of the revenue need not preserve copies of the personal property book for a period of longer than six years following the tax year to which such book relates.

Code 1950, § 58-884; 1960, c. 49; 1962, c. 281; 1975, c. 45; 1980, c. 343; 1981, c. 158; 1984, c. 675; 1997, c. 701; 1999, c. 52; 2003, c. 8.

§ 58.1-3119. Personal property book not to be altered after delivery to treasurer.

After the commissioner of the revenue has delivered a copy of his personal property book to the county or city treasurer, no alteration shall be made therein which affects the taxes or levies of that year.

Code 1950, § 58-885; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3120. If books for preceding year not made out, how supplied.

A. If no land book or personal property book was made out for the year immediately preceding the year in which a commissioner takes office, the commissioner of the revenue for such county or city shall proceed to complete books for such year, according to the rate of tax which then existed.

B. All proceedings required by this article in regard to assessment books shall be had with and under the books of such year and the sums charged therein shall be collected and accounted for in like manner.

Code 1950, §§ 58-887, 58-888; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3121. Penalty for false entry in books.

If any commissioner knowingly makes a false entry on any of his books, he shall be guilty of malfeasance in office.

Code 1950, § 58-889; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3122. Tax Commissioner may report misconduct or incapacity of commissioner of the revenue.

The Tax Commissioner may communicate any instances of misconduct or neglect of any commissioner, or any evidence of his incapacity, in a letter to the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city wherein such commissioner was elected. The clerk shall promptly present such letter to the circuit court.

Code 1950, §§ 58-892, 58-893; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3122.1. Photocopying fees imposed by commissioners of the revenue.

The commissioner of the revenue may charge a photocopying fee, to a maximum amount of fifty cents per page, for photocopying any papers or records upon a taxpayer's request for information.

1990, c. 42.

§ 58.1-3122.2. Remote access to nonconfidential public records maintained by commissioner.

The commissioner of the revenue may provide remote access, including access through the Internet, to all nonconfidential public records maintained by his office, subject to such limitations as may be imposed by applicable law. Any system of remote access created or maintained pursuant to this section shall include security measures that preclude remote access users from (i) obtaining any data that is required to be maintained as confidential pursuant to § 58.1-3, the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (§ 2.2-3800 et seq.), the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.), or other applicable law, and (ii) modifying or destroying any record or data in any manner.

1998, c. 235; 2006, c. 474.

§ 58.1-3122.3. Commissioners to provide certain information to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority; confidentiality of such information.

A. Each commissioner of the revenue shall provide to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority (the Authority), upon entering into a written agreement, such tax information as may be necessary to facilitate the administration and enforcement by the Authority of performance agreements with businesses that have received incentive awards, the provisions of § 58.1-3 notwithstanding.

B. Any tax information provided to the Authority under this section shall be confidential and shall not be divulged by the Authority. Any tax information so provided shall be used by the Authority solely for the purpose of verifying capital investment claims of those businesses that have received incentive awards.

2017, cc. 804, 824.

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