• Brian Barto, EA

Virginia Sales Tax for Small Business: When to File, How to File and the Penalties for Late Filing

We help small business clients in Winchester, VA that have tax issues. Falling behind in sales tax payments is a common issue for small business clients. Virginia imposes rather harsh penalties to your business for late payment of sales tax.

Payments are due quarterly or monthly depending on the size of the business and the amount of total sales. The State of Virginia will assign a filing frequency to your business based on your total sales tax liability. The filing frequency will be based on the estimated sales volume if you are a newly registered business. This is assigned at the time you receive your registration, though it may be updated in the future depending on actual sales volume. For quarterly filers, the deadline is the 20th of the month following the end of the quarter. For example, the payment for the 1st quarter sales tax (Jan-Mar sales) is due on Apr 20. For monthly filers, payments are due on the 20th of each month for the previous months’ sales. For example, sales tax for Jan sales is due on Feb 20. Note: Some businesses may only be required to file annually. When this is the case, the annual payment is due on January 20 following the year for which the taxes are being collected.

Filing a sales tax return: The Virginia Department of Taxation has an online portal at ATAX, through which you can register and file your taxes online.

If sales tax is not paid by your specific filing deadline, a penalty may result of 6% per month added to the total tax owed. There is a maximum penalty for both quarterly and monthly filers of 30% of the total tax owed with a minimum penalty of $10. This $10 penalty applies even if there is no sales tax due.

In addition to the late filing penalty, there is a late payment penalty of 6% per month up to 30% of the total tax imposed. This is separate from the filing deadline but doesn’t apply until after 6 months have passed. For this reason, if a business has not paid its sales tax owed within 6 months, the full 30% may be charged when the late fee is applied. Only one of the two late fees will be applied, so the maximum remains 30% of the total tax owed, even if the filing was done late and the payment is late. Interest is applied to all late payments at a rate of 2% per month.

If you fall behind in your sales tax payments or have other tax debt owed to Virginia or to the IRS and need help, we suggest you contact a competent Tax Debt Resolution Specialist.

At Tax Debt Resolution Services of Winchester VA, our mission is to help you eliminate your IRS issues and the stress the IRS has created in your life and help you get back to doing what you do best! We help our clients in Winchester VA, Strasburg VA, Martinsburg WV and Charles Town WV to resolve their tax debts!. If you need assistance please feel free to contact me at 540-300-1988 or

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