City of Alexandria, VA
Tax Services & Enforcement
Tax Services & Enforcement is tasked with managing the City's tax relief programs, assisting taxpayers with preparing State income tax returns, and collecting delinquent City taxes. Staff aims to collect all delinquent City taxes, license fees and miscellaneous revenues while maintaining excellent customer service.
Tax Enforcement: Delinquent Taxes
The City of Alexandria has created two programs to ease the Real Estate and Personal Property tax burden on elderly and/or disabled residents.
Real Estate Tax Relief for Elderly and Disabled Persons Program: Residents of the City of Alexandria who are 65 years of age or older or who are permanently and totally disabled may be eligible for the City's Real Estate Tax Relief or Deferral Program for Elderly or Disabled Persons.
Personal Property Tax Relief for Elderly and Disabled Persons Program: The City’s Personal Property Tax Relief Program for senior or permanently disabled City residents allows eligible applicants to be exempt from payment of personal property tax on one vehicle.
Note: A taxpayer may simultaneously apply for Real Estate Tax Relief and Personal Property Tax Relief using the combined application form. If more than one vehicle is owned, the City will apply the benefit to the vehicle with the highest assessment, subject to certain guidelines.
Tax Services & Enforcement assists taxpayers with preparing current year Virginia State Income Tax returns. There is currently no assistance available for preparing federal income tax.
Any person wishing to receive assistance must meet the following criteria:
Assistance is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., by email or by phone at:
In-person assistance is available Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at:
Tax Services & Enforcement
All taxes are considered delinquent on the day following the due date. The due dates for all City taxes can be found on the Finance Calendar. If the usual due date falls on a weekend, tax payment will be due on the first business day following the due date and the delinquency date will be one day later.
Tax Services & Enforcement uses a number of tools to ensure the collection of all delinquent taxes, penalties, interest, and fees owed to the City of Alexandria.
On occasion, taxpayers may not be able to pay when taxes are due. The payment plan, which spreads the total tax liability over time, is designed only to stop legal action for collection of delinquent taxes. It is a formal, signed agreement between the City and the taxpayer. The typical payment plan requires that the taxpayer make an initial payment of 20 percent of the taxes due; the remaining balance will then be paid in installments over a time period designated by the City. Interest will continue to accrue during the payment period.
Tax Services & Enforcement mails a variety of letters informing taxpayers that they are delinquent on their taxes and may face collection action. If the taxpayer does not respond, staff initiates legal action to collect the delinquent taxes. Once collection begins, staff mails letters explaining the collection process.
Through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Vehicle Registration Withholding (DMV Stop) Program, the City will ask the DMV Commissioner to withhold registration or registration renewals for any taxpayer who owes delinquent taxes, penalties, interest, and fees to the City of Alexandria. Once a DMV Stop has been placed on an account, the taxpayer must pay the entire amount due with certified funds (cash, money order, or cashier's check) or credit card to get the Stop removed. The stop will be removed within one business day of payment. An administrative charge of $20 is added on a per vehicle, per year basis to each delinquent account with an amount due over $20 to pay for the cost of this program. (Virginia Code Section 46.2-752)
NOTE: This information applies to DMV Stops for unpaid taxes only. Please see here for DMV Stops placed due to unpaid parking citations.
Through the Set-Off Debt Program, the City asks the Virginia Department of Taxation to withhold all or part of a taxpayer's Virginia State Income Tax refund to cover any balance due to the City. An administrative charge of $25 is added on a per vehicle, per year basis to each delinquent account with an amount due over $50 to pay for the cost of this program. (Virginia Code Sections 58.1-520.1 and 58.1-523)
In some cases, Tax Services & Enforcement determines that an outside agency has information or methods that are more likely to result in the collection of delinquent individual or business taxes. These cases are referred to outside collection agencies under contract. Accounts referred to collection agencies may also be reported to credit bureaus and appear on the taxpayers' credit reports.
Delinquent taxpayer lists are published annually in the local newspaper and/or on the City's website for all taxpayers with delinquent balances greater than $20 as of June 30. (Code of Virginia Section 58.1-3921)
Tax Services & Enforcement makes arrangements with the delinquent taxpayer's employer to garnish the wages of the delinquent taxpayer in the amount that is owed. It may be necessary to garnish more than one paycheck in order to satisfy the tax liability.
Tax Services & Enforcement makes arrangements with the delinquent taxpayer's bank to recover from the taxpayers' account(s) the amount that is owed.
Tax Services & Enforcement places a lien against all rental income due the taxpayer to recover the amount that is owed. (Code of Virginia Section 58.1-3944)
Tax Services & Enforcement applies in writing to any person indebted to or having in his hands estate of a taxpayer for payment of taxes more than 30 days delinquent. Payment by this third party will entitle him or her to a credit against such debt or estate. The taxes, penalties, and interest constitute a lien on the debt or estate due the taxpayer from the time the application is received. For each application served, the person applied to is entitled to a fee of $20. Staff will also send a copy of the application to the taxpayer with a notice informing him or her of the lien. (Code of Virginia Section 58.1-3952)
Finance staff prepares a Distress/Seizure Warrant for the Sheriff's Office to enter a business and seize cash from the cash register for payment of delinquent taxes. (Code of Virginia Sections 58.1-3919 and 58.1-3941)
Any business more than two months past due in the payment of admissions, meal sales, or transient lodging taxes may be required to post a bond for these taxes. Since fiduciary taxes collected from customers are held in trust by the business owner, they should not be commingled with the business's operating funds.
In extreme cases, Tax Services & Enforcement may work with the Sheriff's Department or Police Department to seize property and/or assets that can be used to satisfy or can be sold to satisfy delinquent taxes. These properties are sold through auctions that are open to the public.
When real estate taxes remain delinquent as of the December 31 following the second anniversary of the original due date, Tax Services & Enforcement may work with the Court to seize the property and sell it to satisfy the delinquency. These properties are sold through public auctions. (Code of Virginia Section 58.1-3965)
Finance Department staff conducts “door to door” field inspections of businesses operating in the City for a period of three to four months each year. Staff verifies tax compliance by requesting confirmation that businesses are currently licensed and up to date on taxes owed. City staff will take the following steps to provide businesses with additional information and time to comply:
If a taxpayer fails to file a tax return by the due date, the relevant office's staff will assess the tax based on the best information available. Tax Services & Enforcement will enforce this statutory assessment.
Any business that receives a statutory assessment of business license or business personal property taxes and wishes to appeal the amount of the assessment must fill out and return either a delinquent business license application or a business personal property tax return.
Any business or individual that receives a statutory assessment of a vehicle and disagrees with the value placed on the vehicle must follow the normal personal property appeal procedure. Any business or individual that has been assessed for a vehicle that is not located in the City or has been disposed of (sold, traded, donated, etc.) should contact Personal Property Tax for assistance.
The City of Alexandria imposes penalties for failure to file or pay taxes on time, assesses interest on delinquent taxes, and charges fees to cover the cost of collection.
Late Filing Penalty
Late Payment Penalty
Waiver of Penalty and Interest