Filing Your 2021 Virginia State Income Tax Return

Filing Your 2021 Virginia State Income Tax Return
••• Viktorcvetkovic

If you live in Virginia, at tax time you'll probably have to file a state income tax return. Although Virginia's income tax rates top out at ​5.75 percent​, the rate is adjusted based on your adjusted gross income for the tax year in question. You can easily file your Virginia taxes, known as Virginia individual income tax, using the tools available online.

Who Must File Virginia Income Taxes?

Residency and federal tax status both determine your Virginia state income tax eligibility. If you earned money from Virginia businesses or you were a full or part-year resident, you have to pay state income tax if you are required to file a federal income tax return.

Your Virginia adjusted gross income for the year also comes into play. Single filers earning less than ​$11,950​ and joint filers earning less than ​$23,900​ in the tax year aren't required to file.

What Are the Forms to Use?

Virginia's individual income tax forms are available on the Department of Taxation website, but you can also file electronically from that page. If you lived in Virginia more than ​183​ days in the calendar year, you're a Virginia resident for tax purposes, so you'll file ​Form 760​. Those who moved in or out of the state during the year are considered part-year residents and, therefore, must file ​Form 760P​, and those who didn't live in Virginia at all but received income are nonresidents and should file ​Form 763​.

What Is the Tax Rate in Virginia?

Virginia tax rates are based on your taxable income. They are as follows:

  • 2 percent​ on earnings of up to ​$3,000
  • 3 percent​ plus ​$60​ on earnings from ​$3,001-$5,000
  • 5 percent​ plus ​$120​ on earnings from ​$5,001-$17,000
  • 5.75 percent​ plus ​$720​ for income over ​$17,000

What Are the Filing Deadline and Extension Process?

For most, the individual income tax return filing deadline in Virginia will be ​May 2, 2022​, since the usual deadline of May 1 falls on a weekend. This gives you a couple of extra weeks after your federal income tax return is due. If you're outside the U.S. on ​May 2​, you'll have until ​July 1​.

What Are the Penalties for Late Filing and Underpayment of Taxes?

Don't stress too much if you miss the filing deadline. Virginia grants an automatic ​six-month ​extension. That extension only applies to filing, though, so if you owe taxes, you'll be charged penalties for being late.

If you owe more than ​10 percent​ of your taxes due but you file an extension, you'll be charged an extension penalty. That penalty is ​2 percent​ per month, with a maximum of ​12 percent​. The penalty is calculated back to the original due date.

For those who exceed the ​six-month​ extension, a late-filing penalty will apply. That penalty is ​6 percent​ per month with a maximum penalty of ​30 percent​. If you pay partway through the month, the ​6 percent​ will be prorated for that month.

Where Do I Mail/E-file My Virginia Return?

Virginia offers free online filing for those who make ​$73,000​ or less. But even if you don't qualify, you can use the free fillable forms available on the Virginia Department of Taxation website. You can also use one of the approved tax preparation services or MilTax to file your Virginia individual income tax.

For those who prefer paper filing, you can download the necessary forms on the Department of Taxation site. The department has its mailing addresses listed on its website. There are separate addresses for those who owe taxes and those who are due a refund.

How Do I Pay Taxes Due?

Virginia offers multiple individual income tax payment options. The easiest is to pay online, either by registering for an account or using eForms. If you pay this way, the money moves from your account to the Department of Taxation without a fee.

You can also make your tax payment using a credit card, but a service fee will be charged. To pay by check or money order, just download the payment voucher and mail it to the address listed.

Those who have received a bill can sign up for one of the available payment plans. To use this option, your combined total due must be less than ​$25,000​, including all penalties. You can set this up online or by calling (​804) 367-8045​.

Where Can I Check My Virginia Refund Status?

If you're anxiously awaiting a tax refund on your Virginia return, you can monitor the status on the Where's My Refund page. You can start checking the page ​72 hours​ after you've filed. If you filed a paper return, though, you'll need to wait at least ​four​ ​weeks​ after you've mailed your return to start checking.

However, that doesn't mean you'll have your refund that quickly. During tax season, electronically filed returns can take up to ​four weeks​ to process, while paper-filed returns can take as long as ​eight weeks​. If you sent your paper return by certified mail, you'll need to allow an extra ​three​ ​weeks​ for processing.

What About Virginia Taxes if You’re Self-employed?

Self-employed professionals in Virginia have an additional step to take. As with your federal taxes, you'll need to pay estimated taxes each quarter to the Virginia Department of Taxation if you think you'll owe more than ​$150​ for the tax year. You can pay online via ACH or credit card or use a voucher to pay with a check or money order.

What About Virginia Taxes if You’re a Business?

If you run a business in Virginia, you'll need to get acquainted with the Virginia Department of Taxation's business page. You'll have to withhold income taxes from your employee paychecks and pay corporate tax when applicable. You can register your business through the business page to file and pay your taxes electronically.

Virginia Taxation and Reciprocity

Tax time can get complicated for those who live or work in other states. To make things easier, some states have reciprocity with other states. This is designed to ensure residents with a limited presence in other states only pay state income taxes in one place.

Virginia's reciprocity agreements are with ​five​ surrounding states: Washington, D.C., Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. If you work in any of those states, you can ask your employer to withhold Virginia tax from your paycheck. If your employer doesn't agree to this, you can skip withholding and pay estimated taxes to the Virginia government throughout the year.

Virginia Tax Exemptions

Virginia offers a few tax breaks for taxpayers based on age, marital status and dependents. Each person automatically qualifies for a ​$930Virginia tax exemption as well as a ​$930​ exemption for each dependent.

If you're aged ​65​ and older, you can claim an additional ​$800​ exemption. Those who are classified as blind for federal tax purposes are also eligible for an additional ​$800​ exemption. Those who are part-time residents of Virginia will need to prorate any exemptions using a worksheet that's provided in the part-year resident instruction booklet.

Completing your state return in Virginia is fairly simple, especially if you use the electronic filing options available. The Virginia Department of Taxation website is filled with information and forms that will give you the support you need as you prepare your return.

Rates and dates in this article are correct as of publication. But check for any changes with Virginia Tax before you file.