How to register for a sales tax permit in Virginia

by TaxJar January 23, 2024

Please note: This blog was originally published in June 2014. It’s since been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

For more information about collecting and remitting sales tax in Virginia, check out Virginia  Sales Tax Resources.

1. Who needs a sales tax permit in Virginia?
From the website:

The Virginia Retail Sales and Use Act establishes a tax on the sale, lease or rental of tangible personal property or the use or consumption of tangible personal property in Virginia, as well as taxable services in Virginia.

A seller is subject to the sales tax imposed on gross receipts from retail sales. “Retail sales” means sales made for any purpose other than for resale. The tax may also apply to the furnishing of transient accommodations and the lease or rental of personal property. Code of Virginia § 58.1-603.

The seller is responsible for collecting the tax from the customer on each taxable sale. The tax must be separately stated and added to the sales price or charge. The general sales tax rate for Virginia is 5.3 percent (4.3 percent state tax and 1 percent local tax). There is an additional 0.7 percent state tax imposed in the localities that make up Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, making the rate in these areas 6 percent (5 percent state tax and 1 percent local tax). 

In Bulletin 5-78, sales of eligible food items are subject to a reduced sales tax rate of 2.5 percent (1.5 percent state tax and 1 percent local tax).

2. How do you register for a sales tax permit in Virginia?
All businesses are required to register through the Virginia Department of Taxation. They’ve set up VATAX to help you register online.

Your other option is to download and print the form at home. Simply fill out Form R-1 and send it to:

Virginia Department of Taxation
Registration Unit
PO Box 1114
Richmond, VA 23218-1114
Phone: 804-367-8057
Fax: 804-367-2603

3. What information do you need to register or a sales tax permit in Virginia?

  • Business location
  • Mailing address
  • Contact info
  • Sales tax types your business will be responsible for
  • Basic info

4. How much does it cost to apply for a sales tax permit in Virginia?
Virginia does not charge for a sales tax permit. Other business registration fees may apply. Contact each state’s individual department of revenue for more about registering your business.

5. How long does it take to receive your Virginia sales tax permit?
From the website:

As a general rule, new businesses should register no later than the anticipated date that sales will begin.

6. Do you have to renew your Virginia sales tax permit?
Virginia does not require business owners to renew sales tax permits.

7. How can I learn more about Virginia sales tax?

 Ready to say goodbye to sales tax management? Let TaxJar automate it for you!

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