Tax Assistance

On this page you will find tax assistance programs for the City of Richmond's Department of Finance. Below are categories of assistance which can potentially limit tax payments for real estate and personal property for those who qualify. Each section is complete with information and necessary forms to apply for assistance or adjustment. If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Finance.

Personal Property Tax Relief 

The City of Richmond has two exemption options in addition to the Commonwealth's Personal Property Tax Relief Act (PPTRA) which can be granted for motor vehicles:

  • Condition and Mileage Adjustments
  • Disabled Veteran Exemptions

Below you will find the forms you need to receive property tax relief for your vehicle as well as frequently asked questions about the individual programs.

Personal Property Tax Relief Key Resources

Personal Property Tax Relief Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Personal Property Tax Relief Act (PPTRA) FAQs 

I’ve heard something about a “Personal Property Tax Relief”. What is it and how does it affect the tax amount due on my vehicle?
The Personal Property Tax Relief Act (PPTRA) was first adopted by the Virginia General Assembly in 1998 and subsequently amended in 2005. In short, the PPTRA provides tax relief to owners of personal use vehicles based on the assessed value of the vehicle. The owners of vehicles that qualify for property tax relief (PPTR) receive a full or partial exemption on the first $20,000 of assessed value of the vehicle. Qualifying vehicles with an assessed value of $1,000 or less receive a full exemption from the personal property tax. Qualifying vehicles with an assessed value greater than $1,000 receive a partial exemption on the first $20,000 of assessed value. The amount, or percentage, of the partial exemption is authorized each tax year by Richmond City Council. In 2017, for example, the partial exemption for qualifying vehicles was 53% of the tax on the first $20,000 of assessed value. Below is a table that illustrates how the PPTRA would apply to vehicles of varying assessed values based on the 2017 PPTR of 53%.

Vehicle Use Assessed Value Total Tax Amount Tax Exemption Tax Balance Due
Business Use $20,000 $740.00 None $740.00
Personal Use $1,000 $37.00 $37.00 $0.00
  $10,000 $370.00 $196.10 $173.90
  $25,000 $801.98 392.20 $409.78

What vehicles are not eligible for property tax relief?
Vehicles that are used predominantly, e.g. more than 50%, for business purposes, vehicles for which depreciation and other expenses have been claimed on the federal income tax return of a business or individual, vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 lbs. and personal use trailers that are used to transport boats, etc. If any of the following questions can be answered yes, the motor vehicle is considered to be used for business  purposes under Virginia law and not eligible for property tax relief:

  1. Is more than 50% of the mileage for the year used as a business expense for Federal Income Tax purposes or reimbursed by an employer?
  2. Is more than 50% of the depreciation associated with the vehicle deducted as a business expense for Federal Income Tax purposes?
  3. Is the cost of the vehicle expensed pursuant to Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Service Code?
  4. Is the vehicle leased by an individual and the leasing company pays the tax without reimbursement from the individual?

Condition and Mileage Adjustments FAQs 

Can the assessment of my vehicle be adjusted due to high mileage or condition of the vehicle?
You may submit a form to the Department of Finance to have the mileage or condition of your vehicle evaluated. Click here to obtain a copy of the form regarding high mileage and here to obtain a copy of the form regarding the condition of your vehicle.

Important note: The mileage or condition information must be the mileage or condition of the vehicle on the tax date, January 1.Upon receipt of either of these forms, Revenue Administration personnel will review the information on the form and notify you of our decision regarding the value of your vehicle. In high mileage situations, we use the information provided by N.A.D.A. to (1) determine if the vehicle qualifies as a high-mileage vehicle and (2) what to deduct from the assessment based on the mileage.

Disabled Veteran Motor Vehicle Exemption Certification FAQs

How can I prove I am eligible to receive the tax relief? 
Attach your letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs stating that you have a 100 percent service connected, permanent, and total disability which includes the date this was determined to your completed Disabled Veteran Motor Vehicle Exemption Certification form and submit. 

Do I have to complete the Certification every year?
Yes, per the Code of Virginia §58.1-3668. Motor vehicle of a disabled veteran.

What is the deadline date to file for the exemption?
There is no immediate deadline date to file. The exemption shall be applicable beginning on the date the motor vehicle is acquired or January 1 of the tax year, whichever is later, and shall not be applicable for any period prior to January 1 of the tax year.

How many vehicles does the Disabled Veteran Motor Vehicle Exemption cover?
Only one motor vehicle owned and primarily used by or for he disabled veteran shall be exempt.

Can my spouse continue to receive the tax relief exemption after I am deceased?
The exemption shall expire on the date of the disabled veteran's death and shall not be available for the surviving spouse.

Other Useful Sources of Information Regarding Personal Property Tax Relief

Real Estate Tax Relief for the Elderly & Disabled 

The City of Richmond's Department of Finance currently has two exemption options available for citizens who are either:

  • Age 65 or older
  • Permanently and totally disabled

Both of these exemptions apply only to real estate taxes. Qualification for any of these exemption programs is based on the income and net worth of the property owner, plus the income of others living in the household.

Only one of these exemption options may be selected, not both.

Real estate tax assistance takes two forms in the City of Richmond:

  • Tax Relief: The tax relief program offers those who qualify for the program partial or full tax exemption from real estate taxes in the city of Richmond.
  • Tax Freeze: The tax freeze program offers those who qualify an exemption from the increase in real estate taxes from the date you first apply and qualify for this exemption.

Additionally, the City of Richmond's Assessor's Office offers tax exemption for disabled veterans or surviving spouses. For more information on this program please click here.

Real Estate Tax Relief for the Elderly & Disabled Key Resources 

Real Estate Tax Relief for the Elderly & Disabled Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What is the difference between the Tax Freeze and the Tax Relief program?
The Tax Freeze program exempts you from the increase in real estate taxes from the date you first apply and qualify for the program. The Tax Relief either partially or fully exempts you from the real estate tax assessment on the real property in which you reside. Below is an example of each program for illustration purposes only. Both assume application and qualification for either program for the first tax year; an assessed value in the first tax year of $100,000 and in the third tax year of $110,000 and qualification for 50% tax relief.

Tax Freeze Benefit to Property Owner Tax Relief Benefit to Property Owner
Year 1 $0.00 Year 1 $600.00
Year 2 $120.00 Year 2 $660.00
Year 3 $1,200.00 Year 3 $1,200

Which program, Tax Freeze or Tax Relief, best for me?
This is a question that can best be answered by your tax advisor or attorney. Finance personnel are not privy to the details of any taxpayer’s financial affairs, nor should they be, to provide the taxpayer such advice.

What are the qualifications for either of the tax exemption programs?
The basic qualification for either of the exemption programs are as follow:

  1. Either age 65 or older; or, permanently and totally disabled; or
  2. Gross combined income of the property owner(s) during the immediate preceding tax year was not greater than $60,000, including income in excess of $10,000 of a relative(s) living in the household with the property owner; or
  3. The total combined net value of assets of those applying for the exemption cannot exceed $350,000. This does not include the value of the dwelling and land (not in excess of 1 acre) on which the dwelling is located.

For those applying based on age, the head of household occupying the dwelling and owning title, or partial title must be 65 years old or older on December 31 of the prior tax year and the dwelling must be occupied as the sole dwelling of the applicant. 

For those applying based on disability, the head of household occupying the dwelling and owning title, or partial title must be permanently disabled; and, the applicant must attach a sworn affidavit b two medical doctors licensed to practice medicine in the Commonwealth of Virginia, to the effect that the person is permanently and totally disabled.

I received a tax credit on my real estate bill that is due January 14th. Do I still have to file a tax relief application or recertification form for 2022?
Yes. Tax relief applications and recertification forms must be filed by March 31st, 2022 to retain the tax exemption for the 2022 tax year.

What is the due date for applications for the Tax Freeze or Tax Relief program for 2022?
March 31st. Current participants must return their recertification notices by the date and both new applicants and those who have to submit new application, due to having participated in the program for 3 years, must submit their applications for tax relief by this date.

A relative of mine is elderly and needs help attending to their financial affairs. What can I do to assist them in making sure they file their application and/or pay their taxes on time?
While real estate taxes are public information, we need the taxpayer’s permission to discuss the details of their financial affairs and tax relief for the elderly and disabled information. We can provide you with an Authorized Representative Form to complete and return to our office or if you have been designated Power of Attorney to handle such affairs we will need a copy of the POA document, appropriately signed and notarized by the taxpayer.

Are any other factors or circumstances taken into consideration for tax relief applicants?
Yes. The Director of Finance may approve applicants for tax relief for the elderly and disabled due to Extreme Financial Hardship. The taxpayer must have experienced an extreme financial hardship in the immediate past tax year or be actively experience an extreme hardship in the current tax year. Examples of Extreme Financial Hardship include illness, accident or loss of property, death of spouse, or other extraordinary circumstances beyond the taxpayer’s control. In these types of circumstances, the Department of Finance will give consideration to the applicant for tax relief.

What happens if I am qualified for either tax exemption program and I do not get my tax payment to the City by the due date?
The Richmond City Code specifically provides that to retain the tax exemption the taxpayer must remit their portion of the tax bill by the respective due dates, January 14 and June 14. Therefore, failure to remit the taxes by the due date may jeopardize your qualification to retain the credit.

Other Useful Sources of Information Regarding Real Estate Tax Relief

The City of Richmond offers real estate tax assessment exemptions for disabled veterans. However, as it is an assessment based assistance program, it is administered by the City Assessor's Office. For more information please see the City Assessor's Application for Exemption from Real Estate Taxation page or head straight to the Veteran Exemption Application Form.  

The Department of Finance is unable to answer questions regarding this program. Please direct all inquiries to the City Assessor's Office at asktheassessor@rva.gov or by calling (804) 646-7500.