City Council Adopts New Plastic Bag Tax
The City of Alexandria, along with Arlington and Fairfax Counties, have adopted a 5-cent per bag tax on disposable plastic bags from grocery, convenience, and drug stores. The tax will go into effect on January 1, 2022.
Collected taxes may be used for environmental cleanup; providing educational programs designed to reduce environmental waste, mitigating pollution and litter; or for providing reusable bags to recipients of either Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC) benefits. Until January 1, 2023, retailers affected by the tax will be able to retain two cents for every five cents collected on each plastic bag. After January 1, 2023, the amount will decrease to one cent. This tax will be collected for localities by the Virginia Department of Taxation in the same manner that the state now collects and distributes the City’s 1% local Sales Tax.
The tax will not apply to plastic bags intended for reuse; plastic bags solely used to wrap, contain or package certain items (ice cream, meat, fish, poultry, produce, unwrapped bulk food items or perishable food items); plastic bags for dry cleaning or prescription drugs; or multiple plastic bags sold in packages for garbage, pet waste or leaf removal.
If businesses have questions about exemptions, or whether or not they need to register and collect the tax, please call the Customer Service section at the Virginia Department of Taxation at 804-367-8037. Secure email to the department can also be sent from www.tax.virginia.gov/contact-us . For state guidelines, please visit www.tax.virginia.gov/disposable-plastic-bag-tax
More information can be found on the City's Plastic Bag Tax webpage.
Tax Scam Warning
It has come to our attention that some businesses with outstanding taxes may have received a notice from a “Tax Processing Unit, Alexandria City County, Public Judgment Records.” The notice may be referred to as a “Distraint Warrant” that supposedly functions as a court judgment. Taxpayers are instructed to then call a toll-free number to “avoid enforcement.”
Please be advised, if you receive such a notice it is a scam. Neither the City of Alexandria nor the Virginia Department of Taxation send such a notice. If you have questions about local tax collection activity in the City, please contact email@example.com or call the Department of Finance at 703.746.4800. If you have questions about collection activity by the State of Virginia, please call the State Collections Unit at the Virginia Department of Taxation at 804.367.8037, or visit www.tax.virginia.gov/bills-notice-assessment.
The misleading notice has been referred to the Alexandria Police Department for review. In the meantime, if you do have delinquent tax liabilities with the City of Alexandria, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 703.746.4800 to discuss payment options. The City does send out legal notices concerning collections, but these notices would always ask that you contact the Department of Finance directly at the contacts listed above, or contact our third party collection agent, Nationwide Credit Corporation (NCC) at 703.776.9260 ( www.nccarm.com).
Opening a Business in the City?
Business Tax Portal
The City of Alexandria has created a new online business tax portal that allows businesses to securely access business tax accounts, view historical data, file tax returns and make payments online.
You can now file and pay your Business, Professional, and Occupational Licenses (BPOL) online using the Business Tax Portal! We hope you find this new feature helpful and welcome your feedback.
To access the portal, click the button below or visit businesstaxportal.alexandriava.gov.
To link accounts, use the one-time PIN mailed to your business in early April, 2019 (your PIN can be retrieved any time by contacting the Business Tax Division at 703.746.4800) and your Business Account Number along with either your business’ Federal Employer Identification number or your Social Security number. Once the accounts are linked, you will be able to file and pay for taxes such as Business and Professional and Occupational Licenses (BPOL), Business Personal Property, Meals, Transient Lodging, and Admission taxes online.
Please note, the PIN must be a 10-digit number. If you received a PIN with fewer than 10 digits, add zeros at the beginning of the PIN to reach 10 digits.Business Tax Portal
Business License and Business Personal Property Taxes
- Business License Tax Information
Pursuant to the Code of Virginia and the Virginia Administrative Code, extraordinary COVID-19 loans/grants such as Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, and AEDP Back-2-Business (B2B) and Weather grants can be excluded from taxable gross receipts when filing the City’s Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) tax returns.
Va. Code § 58.1-3732 (A)(4)
- How the Business Tax is Calculated
- Additional Documentation for Business License Filing
- Business Personal Property Tax Information
- Short-Term Residential Rental Registry
- 2021 Business Personal Property Return and Instructions
- 2022 Business License Application (for new businesses)
- 2022 Delinquent Business License Application
- Cessation of Business Form
- Contractor's Certification of Insuring Liability for Worker's Compensation (for contractors only)
Business License Renewal Forms
The 2021 Business License Renewal forms can be filed online and the preprinted renewals are mailed to license holders. Copies of the forms can be obtained from the online portal under correspondence of the license account.
Other Business-Related Taxes and Fees
- Admission Tax
- Bank Franchise License Tax
- Cigarette Tax
- Communications Tax
- Consumer Utility Tax
- Gasoline Tax
- Meal Tax
- Public Rights-of-Way Use Fee
- Sales Tax
- Short-Term (Daily) Rental Tax
- Transient Lodging (Hotel) Tax
For questions about operating a business in the City and the City's business license and business personal property taxes, contact:
301 King St., Suite 1700
Alexandria, VA 22314
For questions about any other business-related tax, please see the page for that tax as listed above or in the Alexandria Tax Guide.