Hotels that rent rooms or spaces to any person on a transient basis, that is, 90 consecutive days or less, must collect both a City tax and a state tax. Transient lodging taxes are due the last day of the month following the month being reported.
Collected from Customer
Computation of Tax
The City tax is 6.5 percent of the total amount of the room rental charge, plus $1 per room per night. Effective July 1, 2018, the room charge increases to $1.25 per night. The state transient occupancy tax is 2.0 percent of the total amount of the room rental charge. Combined, the tax on room rentals is 8.5 percent of the room rental charge plus $1 per room per night ($1.25 per night beginning July 1, 2018).
Beginning May 1, 2021, the state Transient Occupancy Tax will increase to 3.0 percent, resulting in a combined tax of 9.5% of the room rental charge plus $1.25 per room per night. This is based on a state code amendment to Sections 58.1-1743 and 58.1-1744.
Every hotel collecting City and state transient lodging taxes must file a transient lodging tax return and remit taxes monthly to the City. Monthly returns and remittances must be filed with the Finance Department on or before the last day of each month covering the amount of tax collected during the preceding month.
Persons liable for the tax must file returns with:
Business Tax Section--Transient Lodging Tax
Revenue Division, Department of Finance
P.O. Box 34842
Alexandria, VA 22334-0939
Report forms may be downloaded here:
Or obtained from:
Hotel - Any public or private hotel, inn, apartment hotel, hostelry, tourist home or house, motel, rooming house, short-term residential rental as defined by Section 3-2-152, or other lodging place within the City offering lodging to any transient for compensation.
Person - Any individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, person acting in a representative capacity or any group of individuals acting as a unit.
Transient - Any person who, for a period of not more than 90 consecutive days or, for short-term residential rentals, for a period of fewer than 30 consecutive days, either at his expense or at the expense of another, obtains lodging at a cost in a hotel for a period of not more than 90 consecutive days.
Short Term Residential Rentals (such as Airbnb and other platforms)
All hosts of Short Term Residential Rentals are required by law to Register with the Department of Finance
See Section 3-2-152 of the Code of the City of Alexandria for program requirements and exceptions.
Excluded from Taxation
The following are exempted from the transient lodging tax:
- Room rentals paid directly by the federal, state, or City government;
- Room rentals paid to any hospital, medical clinic, convalescent home or home for aged people;
- Room rentals paid by any person enrolled in, and attending full-time, a school, college or university within the corporate limits of the City; and
- Rentals paid by foreign diplomats holding a tax exemption card issued by the U.S. State Department.
Bonds for Fiduciary Taxes
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' operating funds.
Business Records and Reports Subject to Audit
Persons liable for the tax should keep current and accurate records for a period of three years for audit by the City.