Car Sales Tax In Virginia


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Value Of Used Cars Impacting Personal Property Taxes

As inflation raises value of cars, Virginia’s personal property taxes rise, too

Central Virginians who recently opened up their personal property tax bill might have been surprised at the increase in what they owe on their used car. In some cases, that increase jumped to 35%.

Jenefer Hughes, Chesterfield County commissioner of the revenue, said the states constitution makes all personal property in Virginia taxable. And, she said, that used to be put into practice.

In the old days, the commissioner or used to be the sheriff’s department could come into your home and make a list of all your tangible personal property, and you’d be taxed on it, Hughes said. That doesn’t happen anymore. So, in general, what people experience is the property tax bill on their home and the property tax bill on their vehicle.

This year, those taxes increased because of extraordinary economic factors, Hughes said. In the case of vehicles, the COVID-19 pandemic slowed the supply chain for new cars, increasing the demand for and driving up the market value of used cars.

She said its the value of used cars that is ballooning peoples tax bills this year. Because property taxes are charged as a percentage of value, they can increase even when tax rates remain the same.

Hughes said at the end of January, her office did a mass valuation of more than 400,000 vehicles registered in Chesterfield. They then sent a letter to each vehicle owner letting them know that their cars assessments were likely to increase this year.

How To File And Pay Sales And Use Tax

Virginia Tax requires businesses to file and pay most sales taxes electronically – we offer 3 free options to meet this requirement:

  • eForms – eForms look similar to the paper versions of returns. No login or password required. Simply fill in the required fields, and pay any tax due using direct debit. Available sales tax eForms:

  • Retail Sales and Use Tax
  • In-state dealers with a single location
  • In-state dealers with multiple locations
  • Communications Tax
    • Business Online Services Account – just log in to your account and select “File/ Pay Taxes” and select the tax type you need to file or pay. Simply fill in the requested fields there is no need to copy information from one form to the next. View account history and schedule payments in advance up to the due date. Business Account FAQs.
    • Available for Retail Sales and Use Tax , and Digital Media Fee .
  • Web Upload – Web Upload is file driven, with the ability to save all return and payment information into a single file to send to Virginia Tax. Similar systems are referred to as bulk filing or bulk uploading. Benefits include instant validation and feedback on your file content you will know right away when your file is accepted or if there are any errors. You also have the ability to schedule files for submission on a future date up to the due date of the return. Learn more.
  • Available for Retail Sales and Use Tax, Form ST-9 and Form ST-8
  • State Car Tax Subsidy

    Along with the Assessment Ratio on all cars, City Council has taken additional action to minimize the tax burden on lower-valued cars. Starting with Tax Year 2022, the City will now apply the State Car Tax subsidy to 100% of the amount due on Personal Use vehicles assessed at $5,000 or less. The previous 100% subsidy only applied to vehicles assessed at $1,000 or less. It is estimated this action will eliminate the local tax burden on approximately 32,000 cars. Because the City receives a fixed, flat amount from the State each year for the Car Tax subsidy, if more relief is allocated to low value cars, less relief must be given to more expensive cars. This does not affect the assessed value of the car, but it will impact the overall local tax levy due to be paid by October 5.

    Tax Year 2022

    On the first $20,000 of assessed value, Personal Use Vehicles assessed above $25,000

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    Titling Your Leased Vehicle

    Unless you buy the vehicle at the end of your leasing agreement, you do not need to title your leased vehicle.

    The leased vehicle will be titled in the name of the lessor, who is responsible for paying all associated fees at the time of titling, such as the $15 title fee and the SUT.

    Note: Sometimes, the leasing agreement may require the lessee to make these payments. Read your agreement carefully and contact the lessor with any questions.

    Article 15 Consumers Sales And Service Tax

    8+ Vehicle Bill of Sale

    §11-15-3c. Imposition of consumers sales tax on motor vehicle sales rate of tax use of motor vehicle purchased out of state definition of sale definition of motor vehicle exemptions collection of tax by Division of Motor Vehicles dedication of tax to highways legislative and emergency rules.

    Notwithstanding any provision of this article or article fifteen-a of this chapter to the contrary, beginning on July 1, 2008, all motor vehicle sales to West Virginia residents shall be subject to the consumers sales tax imposed by this article.

    Rate of tax on motor vehicles. Notwithstanding any provision of this article or article fifteen-a of this chapter to the contrary, the rate of tax on the sale and use of a motor vehicle shall be five percent of its sale price, as defined in section two, article fifteen-b of this chapter: Provided, That so much of the sale price or consideration as is represented by the exchange of other vehicles on which the tax imposed by this section or section four, article three, chapter seventeen-a of this code has been paid by the purchaser shall be deducted from the total actual sale price paid for the motor vehicle, whether the motor vehicle be new or used. However, beginning July 1, 2017, the rate of tax imposed by this section shall increase to six percent of the sales price for purchases of motor vehicles made on and after that date.

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    How Much Is The Car Sales Tax In Virginia

    Virginia charges a 4.15% Motor Vehicle Sales and Use Tax on the vehicle’s gross sales price or $75, whichever is greater.

    The actual sales tax may vary depending on the location, as some counties/cities charge additional local taxes.

    In some parts of Virginia, you may pay up to 7% in car sales tax with local taxes.

    However, 4.15% is the statewide sales tax.

    Sign Your Vehicle Title Over To The Buyer/recipient

    On the front of the title in Section A, sign your name, provide the name and address of the buyer/recipient and the odometer reading of the vehicle. If you are selling the vehicle, complete “Sales Price” which is also in Section A. If you are donating the vehicle, write “charitable gift” as the sale price on the title.

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    Who Has To Pay The Car Tax In Virginia

    According to WTOP News, in the state of Virginia, a car qualifies for taxation if it is registered to an address in the respective county or city and/or if the owner regularly parks it in a specific jurisdiction. This has resulted in some people attempting to illegally avoid taxation by registering their cars in other states.

    Each city and county regulates its own rate for personal property taxes. These property taxes are considered separate from the sales taxes that are placed on vehicles and other purchases. Most of Virginia’s jurisdictions use the National Automobile Dealers Association Official Used Car Guide to determine the suggested retail price for both new and older vehicles. However, vehicle owners can challenge these estimates due to any issues with the car or the number of miles that it has.

    Even if you would like to contest a Virginian jurisdiction’s estimated value for your car, it’s important that you remain mindful of the deadline so that you can avoid any penalties. Penalties may also apply if you fail to register your car with the respective county or city within 60 days of purchase. This process is separate from the vehicle registration that you will need to complete with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

    The local and state government are also able to offer exemptions to certain people and vehicles, such as:

    • People that are 65-years old or older

    However, even with the car tax, Virginia still has one of the lowest tax burdens.

    Registering For Personal Property Tax

    Suzy Q & A Explains How to Title and Register a Vehicle by Mail

    All residents of the City of Alexandria must register within 30 days of moving into the City or purchasing a vehicle in the City. Vehicle owners may register by:

    • Completing the online registration form
    • Bringing the vehicle’s valid state registration card, title, or bill of sale and the owner’s driver’s license to 301 King Street, Room 1700, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except City holidays or
    • Printing the registration form and mailing it with a copy of the vehicle’s valid state registration card, title, or bill of sale to Treasury Division, PO Box 323, Alexandria, VA 22313.

    NOTE: Registering a vehicle on someone else’s behalf requires a signed, notarized statement from the vehicle owner explicitly authorizing the substitute to register the vehicle with the City.

    Upon receiving the information, staff will register the vehicle and mail a bill for any taxes and/or fees that may be immediately due.

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    How To Calculate Sales Tax On A Car In Virginia

    zip codeyour carâs value after rebates and incentives

    Key Takeaway Determine the total sales tax on your car by adding your county or cityâs tax rate to the statewide standard of 4.15%.

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    Sales Tax Rate And Locality Code Lookup

    Use the map to find the general sales and use tax rate and locality code* for any location in Virginia. If you’re having trouble viewing or using the map below, use the map here instead.

    You can also for each city or county in an Excel format.

    *Locality codes are a set of numbers that correspond with Virginia cities, counties, and towns. Virginia Tax uses the codes to identify where businesses are located and where their sales take place.

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    How Do I Calculate Taxes Registration Fees And Title In Virginia

    Virginia vehicle sales tax is not the only amount you need to know to calculate your cars final calculation. You must pay state-imposed registration, titling, and license plate transfer fees when buying your vehicle.

    In addition, the dealership usually has special fees for documentation. To get an idea of what you should pay, here are some of the approximate values:

    • Sales tax: 5.624%

    Regarding Spouses Of United States Military Service Members

    My Vehicle Title

    Spouses of military service members may be eligible to be tax exempt on personal property registered in their names or titled jointly with their service member-spouse based on certain qualifying conditions provided in the federal “Military Spouses Residency Relief Act.”To apply for exemption, contact our office at 727-6183 for information and application.

    Military & Leased Vehicles

    Military personnel who are active duty not legal residents of the State of Virginia and are required by their vehicle leasing agreement to pay tangible personal property taxes on such vehicle, may qualify for a reduction in taxes. Please contact our office for further information.

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    Exemptions From The Sut Tax

    For a complete list of exemptions, visit Code of Virginia Exemptions. Certain exemptions require proof of your exemption status and a completed Purchaser’s Statement of Tax Exemption to indicate the reason for exemption.

    If you are titling your vehicle in Virginia for the first time and you hold a valid title or registration in your name , you will not have to pay the SUT. However, if you purchased the vehicle within the last 12 months, you must provide proof that the SUT was paid elsewhere in order to be exempt in Virginia.

    Certain disabled veterans of the United States Armed Forces or the Virginia National Guard may be eligible for a SUT exemption on the purchase of a vehicle, if that vehicle is owned and used primarily by or for the qualifying veteran. In order to qualify, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs must determine the veteran has a 100% service-connected, permanent and total disability.

    Learn more at

    Emissions Testing In Virginia

    As long as you bought your new vehicle in Virginia or Maryland, and it has a valid emissions certificate issued within the past 12 months, you wont need to get your emissions tested right away. If it was bought in a state or county without emissions testing or its been longer than a year since the last emissions inspection, youll likely need to get a new one performed.

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    Economics Of Car Valuation

    During the height of pandemic lockdowns, consumer demand for cars declined. Semiconductor microchips power numerous vehicle computer components today, and with the decline in demand manufacturers shifted focus on production from cars to other consumer goods which spiked during massive global teleworking . Due to earlier changes, the external supply of microchips decreased, and vehicle supply suffered major backlogs, further compounded by the enormous shipping backlog and bottlenecks at ports of entry. Additionally, during the pandemic there was less churn among leasing companies and major fleets, reducing the number of used cars available on the market. As a result, consumer demand for goods also began a sustained spike. These factors resulted in rising prices as dealers had less inventory to sell. For example, according to J.D. Power, dealer inventories were down -59.1% in January 2022 compared to January 2021 and 11.3 million fewer vehicles were produced due to microchip shortages. As a result of supply and demand, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that used-car prices nationally rose 40.5% in January 2021 over January 2020, and average new car prices at dealerships topped $45,000 for the first time ever.

    Do You Need To Register To Collect Sales Tax

    How to File a Sales Tax Return Electronically as a List Filer [Official]

    If you sell, lease, distribute, or rent tangible personal property to customers in Virginia, or otherwise meet the definition of a dealer, and have sufficient activity in Virginia, you have nexus as defined in Va. Code § 58.1-612, and must register to collect and pay sales tax in Virginia.

    • In-state dealers: generally individuals and businesses making sales with, or at, one or more physical locations in Virginia must register to collect sales tax as an in-state dealer.
    • Out-of-state dealers: generally individuals and businesses located outside of Virginia, but with sufficient physical or economic presence to establish nexus in Virginia, must register to collect sales tax as an out-of-state dealer. Starting July 1, 2019, this includes remote sellers or online retailers that make more than $100,000 in annual Virginia gross sales or 200 or more transactions to Virginia customers. Learn more about economic nexus requirements for remote sellers.
    • that have economic nexus in Virginia must register to collect and pay sales tax starting July 1, 2019. Generally, businesses without a physical location in Virginia that meet the economic nexus threshold should register as an out-of-state dealer, and businesses with a physical location should register as an in-state dealer. Marketplace facilitators must indicate that they are a marketplace facilitator when registering. Learn more.
    How to register

    You can register online or by mail. Use our checklist to make sure you have what you need.

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    Buying Or Selling A Vehicle

    Within 30 days of moving into the City of Roanoke, or purchasing a new vehicle, citizens must notify the Commissioner of the Revenues Office at 853-2521.A Personal Property Tax Statement will be issued based on the City’s Personal Property Tax Rate of $3.45 per $100.00 of the vehicle’s assessed value. In addition, a Vehicle License Fee will be added for each motor vehicle that has been titled with the Division of Motor Vehicles and is garaged in the City of Roanoke. The Personal Property Tax is prorated based on the number of months a vehicle is domiciled in the City of Roanoke.

    Personal Property Statements are mailed to citizens in April of each year and are due on May 31 unless the due date falls on a holiday or a weekend then the due date is the next business day.

    Failure to pay Personal Property Taxes by the due date will result in your account becoming delinquent and initiate collection procedures.

    It is the responsibility of citizens to notify the City of changes of address or ownership.

    Contact the Commissioner of the Revenues Office at 853-2521 to notify them of address changes, the purchase of a new or used vehicle or the sale of a vehicle.

  • Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building215 Church Avenue

  • Exemptions From The Personal Property Tax

    The following persons are fully or partially exempted from paying the personal property tax but must still register their vehicles, and file the annual filing by exception letter :

    NOTE: The following property is not eligible for this exemption and is therefore fully taxable:

    • Leased vehicles
    • Property used in a trade or business and
    • Property co-owned with any person who does not qualify for tax exemption.

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    Safety Inspections In Virginia

    Every vehicle registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia is required to undergo a yearly safety inspection. Whether you need to get a safety inspection performed on a new vehicle you buy depends on the date of its last safety inspection.

    Theres no temporary waiver available for safety inspections all vehicles, even new ones, must have a valid safety inspection sticker in the window.

    If for whatever reason the private seller youre buying a vehicle from hasnt kept up with safety inspections, you should request they get one performed before you purchase the vehicle and have the title transferred.

    Safety inspectionscost $20for cars, trucks and SUVs.

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