How to file a sales tax return in Virginia Virginia: Sales Tax Handbook


How to file your sales taxes in Virginia

Once your business has a Virginia sales tax license and begins to make sales, you are required to start collecting sales taxes on behalf of the Virginia government and filing regular sales tax returns. This page will help you understand the basics of your tax collection and filing responsibilities.

How To Collect Sales Tax In Virginia

If the seller has an in-state location in the state of Virginia, they are legally required to collect sales tax at the tax rate in which their business is located, as Virginia is an origin based sales tax state. This means that a business located in Virginia who makes a sale to a buyer in Washington is required to charge their own local sales tax.

If the seller's location is out of state, then the state of Virginia requires the seller to charge sales tax based on the buyer's location. This means that a seller located in Washington making a sale to a buyer located in Virginia would charge the sales tax at the buyer's local rate.

Sales Tax Collection Discounts In Virginia

Virginia allows merchants to keep a small percentage of the sales tax they collect as a collection discount, which serves as compensation for the work required to comply with the Virginia sales tax regulations

The maximum discount that is allowed varies based on total amount of tax that has been collected. 1.1%(or 1.6% that is intended for food) of the first sixty two thousand and five hundred dollars, 0.84% (1.2%) of the amount from two hundred and eight thousand, and 0.56% (0.8%) of the remainder. It must be noted that this applies to the state tax only, and absolutely no discount is allowed to be applied to electronically filed returns.

Your Virginia Sales Tax Filing Requirements

To file sales tax in Virginia, you must begin by reporting gross sales for the reporting period, and calculate the total amount of sales tax due from this period.

The state of Virginia requires all taxpayers to both file and pay sales tax online. This can be accomplished through the the Virginia Department of Taxation's VATAX Online Service for Business. It is also possible for sales tax payment to be remitted through this online system.

Tax payers should be aware of a late filing penalty: the 6% per month of the tax is raised to 30%. However, the late penalty is not charged until six full months have passed. The same applies for late payments. The 6% will rise to 30% after the business has not paid after six months have passed. However, it must be noted that these two late fees cannot be compiled- if you are late with both the payment and filing, the percentage will rise to 30%. Interest can also be added to a late payment, at 2% a month.

The state of Virginia requires that every seller who owns a sales tax permit to file a sales tax return on the required day, even if it is a "zeroes-out" tax return, and there is nothing to report.

Your Virginia Sales Tax Filing Frequency & Due Dates

Your business's sales tax return must be filed by the 20th of the month following reporting period. For a list of this year's actual due dates, see our calendar of Virginia sales tax filing due dates.


Where To File Your Virginia Sales Tax Return:

Filing Your Virginia Sales Tax Returns Online

Virginia supports electronic filing of sales tax returns, which is often much faster than filing via mail.

Monthly and quarterly filers of the ST-9 and ST-9CO forms are required to submit their returns and payments electronically using eForms, Business iFile or Web Upload.

Virginia allows businesses to make sales tax payments electronically via the internet.

As of July, 2012, all filers of the forms ST-9 and ST-9CO who file monthly are required to submit their returns and payments electronically. Quarterly filers are also be required to file and pay electronically as of September 2013.

You can process your required sales tax filings and payments online using the official VATAX Online Services for Business website, which can be found here . You should have received credentials to access your VATAX Online Services for Business account when you applied for your Virginia sales tax license.

Filing Your Virginia Sales Tax Returns Offline

While it is highly recommended that you file online using the VATAX Online Services for Business website, it is possible to file your required sales tax reportings offline using Virginia filing frequency, which you can download and print here . Once you have completed your required reportings, you can mail it to the state at this address:

Virginia Sales Tax Filing Address:
Department Of Taxation
PO Box 26627
VA 23261-6627Taxpayers may also file Virginia sales tax returns by completing and mailing Form ST-9: Retail Sales and Use Tax Return to the following address: Department Of Taxation
PO Box 26627
VA 23261-6627

Please note that if you file your Virginia sales taxes by mail, it may take significantly longer to process your returns and payments.

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