- Commissioner of the Revenue
- Appeal Processes
Notice of Taxpayer Appeal Rights
You may either:
- Follow the administrative appeal process
- Bypass this process and file an appeal in Circuit Court
- The Guidelines for Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) Taxes, Guidelines for Appealing Local Property Taxes, and the applicable Code of Virginia sections for preparing an Appeal to the Tax Commissioner are available at the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office or at the Virginia Department of Taxation.
This information is also available in the Tax Policy Library section of the Department of Taxation’s website.
Administrative Review Process - Local Appeal
Pursuant to the Code of Virginia, you have the right to request a review by the Commissioner of the Revenue of a local license tax assessment resulting from an appeal-able event:
- Within 1 year from the last day of the tax year for which such assessment is made, or within 1 year from the date of the appeal-able event, whichever is later
- Of any local business tax assessment levied after July 1, 2000, within 1 year from the last day of the tax year for which such assessment is made or within 1 year of the date of the assessment, whichever is later
An "appeal-able event" means an increase in the assessment of a local license tax payable by a taxpayer, the denial of a refund, or the assessment of a local license tax where none previously was assessed, arising out of the local assessing official's:
- Examination of records, financial statements, books of account, or other information for the purpose of determining the correctness of an assessment
- Determination regarding the rate or classification applicable to the licensable business
- Assessment of a local license tax when no return has been filed by the taxpayer
- Denial of an application for correction of erroneous assessment attendant to the filing of an amended application for license
The Administrative Appeal must be filed in good faith and contain:
- Copy of the Notice of Assessment
- Detailed explanation of the taxpayer’s position
- Name and address of the representative and a power of attorney form or letter of representation if the appeal is filed on behalf of the taxpayer by an attorney, accountant or other advocate
- Statement of the relief the taxpayer requests
- Taxpayer’s name, address and federal tax identification number(s)
Provided a timely and complete application is made, collection activity will be suspended unless the Director of Finance determines that collection would be jeopardized by delay or that the taxpayer has not responded to the Commissioner’s request for relevant information after a reasonable time; however, interest accrues. The Commissioner of the Revenue may hold a conference with the taxpayer if requested by the taxpayer, or require submission of additional information and documents, an audit or further audit, or other evidence deemed necessary for a proper and equitable determination of the appeal.
Where to Send
The Administrative Appeal should be sent to:
Lara M.S. Overy
City of Williamsburg Commissioner of the Revenue
P.O. Box 245
Williamsburg, VA 23187-0245
The Commissioner of the Revenue will evaluate the request and attendant documentation and issue a Final Local Determination within a reasonable time for local license taxes and within 90 days for local business taxes.
You may appeal a Final Local Determination to the State Tax Commissioner. If you wish to appeal, you must act within 90 days from the date of the Final Local Determination by filing a written Appeal with the Tax Commissioner at the following address:
Appeals and Rulings
Virginia Department of Taxation
P.O. Box 27203
Richmond, VA 23261-7203
Collection activity may begin or resume at any time after the date of the Final Local Determination and will not be suspended until a written Notice of Intent to Appeal or an Appeal to the Tax Commissioner is timely filed and the Commissioner of the Revenue receives a copy. If you intend to appeal, you should immediately provide a written Notice of Intent to Appeal to the Commissioner of the Revenue and to the Tax Commissioner so that collection activities are not reinstated or do not begin. Interest will continue to accrue.
The Appeal to the Tax Commissioner should contain a copy of the complete Administrative Appeal as submitted to the Commissioner of the Revenue, a copy of the Final Local Determination and a statement explaining why the Commissioner of the Revenue is in error. The statement should include analysis of the facts, issues and authority which the taxpayer believes the Commissioner of the Revenue failed to consider. The Tax Commissioner will issue a Final Written Determination within 90 days, unless the Tax Commissioner notifies you that a longer period will be required.
Bypass Administrative Review Process
You are not required to follow the administrative appeal process outlined above and may file an Application for Correction of Assessment for either local license taxes or local business taxes under Code of Virginia Section 58.1-3984.
This application must be filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court within 3 years of the last day of the tax year for which any such assessment is made, within 1 year of the assessment date, or within one year from the Tax Commissioner’s Final Determination, whichever is later. Collection activity with respect to the disputed portion of the assessment is suspended upon written notice of appeal to the court.