Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 58.1. Taxation
2/26/2020

Article 5. Tax Day/Filing of Returns.

§ 58.1-3515. Tax day January 1.

Except as provided under § 58.1-3010, and except as provided by ordinance or special act in localities authorized to tax certain property on a proportional monthly or quarterly basis, tangible personal property, machinery and tools and merchants' capital shall be returned for taxation as of January 1 of each year, which date shall be known as the effective date of assessment or the tax day. The status of all persons, firms, corporations and other taxpayers liable for taxation on any of such property shall be fixed as of the date aforesaid in each year and the value of all such property shall be taken as of such date, except that any county, city or town may permit a taxpayer to return as merchants' capital the average amount of capital employed in his business on such date and on the next preceding August first.

Code 1950, § 58-835; 1979, cc. 571, 576; 1982, c. 623; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3516. Proration of personal property tax.

A. The governing body of any county, city or town may provide by ordinance for the levy and collection of personal property tax on motor vehicles, trailers, semitrailers, and boats which have acquired a situs within such locality after the tax day for the balance of the tax year. Such tax shall be prorated on a monthly basis. Such ordinance may exclude boats or motor vehicles, trailers, and semitrailers with a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 pounds or more used to transport property for hire by a motor carrier engaged in interstate commerce, or both, from the property subject to proration of the personal property tax. For purposes of proration, a period of more than one-half of a month shall be counted as a full month and a period of less than one-half of a month shall not be counted.

Such ordinance shall also provide for relief from tax and a refund of the appropriate amount of tax already paid, which shall be prorated on a monthly basis, where any motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or boat loses its situs within such locality after the tax day or after the day on which it acquires a situs (hereafter "situs day"). No refund shall be made if the motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or boat acquires a situs within the Commonwealth in a nonprorating locality. When any person sells or otherwise transfers title to a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or boat with a situs in the locality after the tax day or situs day, the tax shall be relieved, prorated on a monthly basis, and the appropriate amount of tax already paid shall be (i) refunded or (ii) credited against the tax due on any motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or boat owned by the taxpayer during the same tax year by the treasurer of such locality. Such refund shall be made within thirty days of the date such tax is relieved. No refund of less than five dollars shall be issued to a taxpayer, unless specifically requested by the taxpayer. When any person, after the tax day or situs day, acquires a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or boat with a situs in the locality, the tax shall be assessed on the motor vehicle, trailer, or boat for the portion of the tax year during which the new owner owns the motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or boat and it has a situs within the locality.

Any person who moves from a nonprorating locality to a prorating locality in a single tax year shall be entitled to a property tax credit in the prorating jurisdiction if (a) the person was liable for personal property taxes on a motor vehicle and has paid those taxes to a nonprorating locality and (b) the owner replaces for any reason the original vehicle upon which taxes are due to the nonprorating locality for the same tax year. The prorating locality shall provide a credit against the total tax due on the replacement vehicle in an amount equal to the tax paid to the nonprorating locality for the period of time commencing with the disposition of the original vehicle and continuing through the close of the tax year in which the owner incurred tax liability to the nonprorating locality for the original vehicle.

B. Such ordinance shall provide for the filing of returns and payment of such tax. Such ordinance shall also exempt property from the levy of such personal property tax for any tax year or portion thereof during which the property was legally assessed by another jurisdiction in the Commonwealth and the tax paid. Such ordinance may provide that, notwithstanding any other date for billing and payment of local personal property tax, the locality may bill all personal property taxes assessed for a portion of the tax year less than the full year on or after December 15 of each year. The ordinance may further provide that such taxes shall be due not less than thirty days after the date of the tax bill. If the tax is not paid when due, the penalty and the interest otherwise provided for by § 58.1-3916 shall be imposed based on the established due date.

Code 1950, § 58-835.1; 1982, c. 433; 1983, cc. 36, 270, 273; 1984, cc. 276, 305, 471, 675; 1985, cc. 241, 258; 1986, cc. 51, 366, 541; 1987, cc. 212, 233; 1988, cc. 446, 726; 1989, cc. 29, 36, 329; 1990, c. 330; 1991, cc. 61, 624; 1992, cc. 602, 669; 1993, c. 557; 1996, c. 536; 2002, c. 550.

§ 58.1-3516.1. Payment of taxes prorated under § 58.1-3516.

Notwithstanding the contrary language of §§ 58.1-3515, 58.1-3518, 58.1-3913, 58.1-3915, and 58.1-3916, or subdivision B of § 58.1-3516, relating to the tax day, or tax filing or payment dates, or dates on which penalty and interest are to be charged or added to delinquent tax returns or payments, or any other general provisions of law relating to such dates, the City of Winchester is authorized to provide, by ordinance, in combination with the adoption of proration of personal property taxes under § 58.1-3516, the following:

1. The payment of the personal property tax on any personal property subject to proration shall be due on the last day of the twelfth month after such personal property has acquired situs within the city; however, if the property loses situs in the City of Winchester, or if the taxpayer sells or otherwise transfers title to the property, the tax shall be due on the last day of the month following the month of the loss of situs or of the sale or other transfer of title of the property.

2. The penalties for failure to pay the tax on such personal property shall begin the day following the due date for the tax on the property.

The provisions of Subtitle III (§ 58.1-3000 et seq.) of Title 58.1 which are not in conflict herewith shall apply, with the respective differences having been considered, to the imposition and collection of personal property taxes by the City of Winchester, and the tax credit and exemption provisions of § 58.1-3516 for the payment of taxes to other jurisdictions shall specifically apply to any ordinance adopted under the authority of this section.

1993, cc. 187, 324; 1995, cc. 131, 469.

§ 58.1-3516.2. Payment of taxes on leased property by lessee; information to be furnished by lessor.

The lessor shall provide to every taxpayer that leases any motor vehicle pursuant to a contract that requires the lessee to pay the taxes thereon as provided for under this chapter, a written notice in bold print regarding the taxes to be paid by the lessee, and the lessor shall forward any such tax bill (or, in the case of a multi-vehicle tax bill issued to the lessor, a copy or facsimile of that portion of such bill that pertains to the lessee's vehicle) to the lessee within ten business days of receipt.

1997, c. 398.

§ 58.1-3517. Department of Taxation to prescribe and furnish forms of returns; use of local forms.

Blank forms of returns for reporting the classes of property mentioned in this chapter shall be prescribed by the Department of Taxation and furnished to the commissioners of the revenue in ample time for their use. The commissioner of the revenue of any county or city may use a local form in lieu of that prescribed by the Department.

Code 1950, § 58-836; 1979, c. 576; 1984, c. 675.

§ 58.1-3518. Taxpayers to file returns.

Every taxpayer owning any of the property subject to taxation under this chapter on January 1 of any year shall file a return thereof with the commissioner of the revenue for his county or city on the appropriate forms; however, the commissioner of the revenue may elect not to require such a return from any taxpayer who owns such property which does not have sufficient value to generate a tax assessment. Every person who leases any of such property from the owner thereof on such date shall file a return with the commissioner of the revenue of the county or city wherein such property is located giving the name and address of the owner, except any person leasing a motor vehicle which is subject to the tax imposed under § 58.1-2402. Such returns shall be filed on or before May 1 of each year, except as otherwise provided by ordinance authorized by § 58.1-3916.

Every fiduciary shall file the returns mentioned in this chapter with the commissioner of revenue having jurisdiction. Every taxpayer owning machinery and tools or business personal property, if requested by the commissioner of the revenue, shall include on his annual return of such property information as to the total of original cost by year of purchase. The cost should be the original capitalized cost or the cost that would have been capitalized if the expense deduction in lieu of depreciation was elected under § 179 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Code 1950, § 58-837; 1974, c. 387; 1976, c. 547; 1978, c. 393; 1980, c. 317; 1984, c. 675; 1990, c. 705; 1995, c. 29.

§ 58.1-3518.1. Alternative method of filing returns for motor vehicles, trailers and boats.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 58.1-3518, the governing body of any county, city or town may provide by ordinance for an alternative method of filing personal property tax returns for motor vehicles, trailers and boats. Any such ordinance adopted pursuant to this section may provide for the annual assessment and taxation of motor vehicles, trailers and boats based on a previous personal property tax return filed by the owner or owners of such property. For those whose name or address has not changed since a previous filing and whose personal property has had no change in status or situs, the assessment and taxation of property may be based on a personal property tax return previously filed with the jurisdiction adopting such an alternative method.

B. Any jurisdiction adopting such an alternative method may require the owner of a motor vehicle, trailer or boat to file a new personal property tax return whenever there is: (i) a change in the name or address of the person or persons owning taxable personal property; (ii) a change in the situs of personal property; (iii) any other change affecting the assessment or levy of the personal property tax on motor vehicles, trailers or boats for which a tax return has been filed previously; or (iv) any change in which a person acquires one or more motor vehicles, trailers or boats and for which no personal property tax return has been filed.

C. Nothing in this section shall preclude any jurisdiction from assessing taxable personal property in accordance with § 58.1-3519 or assessing penalties and interest in accordance with § 58.1-3916.

1994, c. 292; 1996, c. 322.

§ 58.1-3519. Commissioner to assess property if taxpayer fails to file return.

If any taxpayer, liable to file a return of any of the subjects of taxation mentioned in this chapter, neglects or refuses to file such return for any year within the time prescribed, the commissioner of the revenue shall, from the best information he can obtain, enter the fair market value of such property and assess the same as if it had been reported to him.

Code 1950, § 58-838; 1952, c. 711; 1954, c. 488; 1962, c. 578; 1984, c. 675.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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