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Each year tax season rolls around, millions of Americans dread the day they have to get organized, crunch numbers, and file their state tax returns. But filing your Virginia state tax return doesn’t have to be such a burden.

Our Virginia income tax calculator is a simple way to estimate your state taxes without having to do all of those frustrating math equations you learned (and quickly forgot about) in primary school. Our Virginia income tax calculator combines your basic tax information with state-specific tax code so you can accurately plan for and file your state taxes.

Overview of Virginia State Taxes

Like most states in the US, Virginia state tax code has its own quirks and rules that taxpayers should be aware of when planning for state taxes. In this guide, we’re going to discuss the ins and outs of everything you should know about Virginia state taxes—but first, let’s go over the difference between state and federal taxes so we’re all on the same page.

The first thing you should know about state taxes is that each one of the 50 states has its own tax system controlled by the state government. In Virginia, state taxes are controlled and collected by the Virginia Department of Taxation. Depending on which state you live in, you’ll likely be subject to different taxes than your neighboring states. For example, some states have high income taxes, while others don’t impose income taxes at all. This is because state taxes are state-run.

Federal taxes,on the other hand, are run by a federal agency you’ve probably heard of once or twice...the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). These taxes are implemented across the board, so no matter which state you live in, you’ll be subjected to the same tax code as any other state in the nation.

What does “state tax” mean in Virginia?

Wondering “how much is Virginia state tax?” Well, the answer isn’t quite so simple if you consider the varying property tax rates, tiered income taxes, and local tariffs. But here are two reasons why learning about state taxes is worth your while:

  • File in compliance with state tax regulations
  • Save money on taxes with deductions and credits

You can refer to our quick facts section below for Virginia tax rates at a glance, or read end-to-end for a complete overview of taxes in Virginia.

Virginia State Taxes: Quick Facts
Income tax: 2% - 5.75%
Sales tax: 5.3%
Property tax: 0.74%
Annual 2019 Tax Burden ($75,000/yr income)
Income Tax
Sales Tax
Property Tax
Total Estimated Tax Burden
Remaining Income = $66,157
Virginia Tax Brackets

The state of Virginia has four different tax brackets that dictate how much Virginians are taxed based on their income.
Virginia’s state income tax brackets range from 2-5.75% according to the rates below:

Self-employment taxes in Virginia

If you’re a self-employed individual in the US, you’re likely aware of the unique tax structures that come with the freedom of being your own boss.

In Virginia, self-employed income is taxed at the same rate of regular taxable income (between 2-5.75%). As far as state-level taxes go, you can plan for the same taxes whether or not you’re self-employed.

But what self-employed Virginians do need to consider, is the federal self-employment tax (SE tax). SE taxes are the self-employed taxpayer’s equivalent to FICA taxes. SE taxes account for Medicare and Social Security contributions and are taxed at 15.3% of your taxable self-employed income.

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Virginia Personal Income Tax

Virginia taxes personal income from 2-5.75% depending on the taxpayer’s income and filing status. There are 4 different tax brackets that Virginia taxpayers are categorized within to determine their tax liability.

Virginia’s income tax rates are as follows:

Virginia Taxable Income
Tax Calculation
0 - $3,000
$3,001 - $5,000
$60 + 3% of excess over $3,000
$5,001 - $17,000
$120 + 5% of excess over $5,000
$17,001 -
$720 + 5.75% of excess over $17,000

Taxpayers in Virginia should keep in mind, this state income tax rate is in addition to federal income taxes.

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Virginia Capital Gains Tax

The tax rate on capital gains in Virginia is 5.8%. Capital gains tax is imposed on any income that’s generated from the sale of a capital asset such as real estate property, stocks, bonds, or collectible items.

In addition to the state capital gains tax, the federal government also imposes capital gains taxes from 0-15%, depending on the value of the asset, the taxpayer’s filing status, and the type of asset.

Virginia State Sales Tax

Virginia’s general state sales tax rate is 5.3%, but this number can vary depending on the type of item being sold. For example, grocery food items are taxed at a reduced rate of 2.5%.

Additionally, three counties within the state charge higher state sales tax rates:

  • Hampton Roads has a 6% sales tax
  • Northern Virginia has a 6% sales tax
  • Historic Triangle has a 7% sales tax

Virginians should also keep in mind that certain local areas charge their own sales taxes on top of the state sales tax rate.

Virginia Excise Tax
What are excise taxes?

You can think of excise taxes kind of like how you think of sales taxes. Like sales tax, excise taxes are taxes imposed on certain goods and services by the state government. However, excise taxes are paid by the manufacturer or vendor of the item, rather than by the consumer.

In addition, excise taxes are generally enacted to promote state initiatives or discourage consumers from buying products that are considered a danger to the health and safety of the community. The latter is often referred to as “sin taxes.”

Sin taxes generally encompass taxes on alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, marijuana, and the like.

Alcohol Excise tax in Virginia

Crafting a fancy cocktail or enjoying a bottle of your favorite wine in The Old Dominion State comes at a cost in the form of the state’s six taxes. Many state levy sin taxes on alcohol, but each one does it differently.

The state of Virginia taxes both beer and wine on a per-gallon basis, with the manufacturers being responsible for remitting the tax. However, consumers should keep in mind that these excise taxes are generally built into the cost of the product.

Wondering how Virginia’s tax laws will impact your happy hour plans? See the state’s alcohol tax rates below:

  • Beer: $0.26 per gallon
  • Wine: $1.51 per gallon
  • Liquor: N/A

Virginia only taxes beer and wine products because the state controls the sale of liquor, meaning that you can only buy it at state-run liquor stores. These state-run stores generate enough money on liquor sales, so Virginia doesn’t impose a tax on spirits other than beer and wine.

Tobacco Excise Tax in Virginia

Like most states, Virginia imposes taxes on the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products. Depending on the type of product being sold, the taxes may vary.

  • Cigarettes: $0.30 per package of 20 cigarettes, or $3 per carton
  • Chewing Tobacco: $0.18 per ounce
  • Loose Leaf Tobacco:
    • $0.21 for units less than 4 ounces
    • $0.40 for unites between 4 and 8 ounces
    • $0.70 for units between 8 and 24 ounces
Gas tax in Virginia

Another common example of excise taxes is tax on gasoline. The state of Virginia taxes gasoline at $0.162 per gallon. As for other types of motor fuel, the state taxes them at the following rates:

Fuel Type
Rates per Gallon January 1-June 30, 2019
* Rates per Gallon Effective July 1, 2019
Sixteen and two-tenth cents (0.162)
Sixteen and two-tenth cents (0.162)
Twenty and two-tenths cents (0.202)
Twenty and two-tenths cents (0.202)
Blended Fuels (Gasoline)
Sixteen and two-tenth cents (0.162)
Sixteen and two-tenth cents (0.162)
Blended Fuels (Diesel)
Twenty and two-tenths cents (0.202)
Twenty and two-tenths cents (0.202)
Aviation Fuels
Five cents (0.05)
Five cents (0.05)
Alternative Fuels (see below)
Sixteen and two-tenth cents per GGE (0.162)
Sixteen and two-tenth cents per GGE (0.162)
Virginia Insurance Tax

In order to offer insurance coverage in the state of Virginia, insurance companies must pay taxes on their gross premiums paid. Virginia collects an average of $516,743 in insurance premium taxes each fiscal year.

Virginia State Property Tax

Virginia does not collect state property taxes, but counties within the state do impose local property taxes. The average property tax collected in Virginia is $1,862 per year, which is based on the median home price ($252,600).

So what does this mean for Virginia property owners? According to these statistics, taxpayers can expect to pay about 0.74% of their property’s value in property taxes each year. Since property taxes are controlled by the local governments in Virginia, property tax rates vary between counties.

Falls Church City, VA levies the highest property taxes in the state at an average of 0.94% of the median home value each year. Buchanan County collects the lowest property taxes in the state, levying an average of 0.46% of the median home’s value per year.

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Virginia Inheritance and Estate Taxes

Virginia no longer imposes an estate tax on property acquired by inheritance. According to the Virginia Department of Taxation, the estate tax rule expired in 2007.

Note: If you inherit property from a loved one that lived in a state that does collect inheritance and estate taxes, such as Iowa, you will be subject to pay the tax rate of their home state.

Virginia State Tax Credits

Many taxpayers are familiar with tax deductions, but there is a sense of confusion when we talk about tax credits vs. tax deductions. If you’re uncertain about the difference, we’ve got some things to clear up.

While tax credits and deductions both work toward the same goal (saving you money on your taxes), they each go about it in a different way. Tax deductions reduce your taxable income, which can indirectly reduce your tax bill; and tax credits reduce your tax bill directly, dollar for dollar.

Tax credits are generally created by the state to promote certain state-driven initiatives such as energy conservation or historic building restoration. Sounds like a good deal, right?

So what tax credits does Virginia offer?

  • Agricultural Best Management Practices Tax Credit
  • Green Job Tax Credit
  • Historic Rehabilitation Credit
  • Worker Retraining Tax Credit
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Virginia State Tax Exemptions and Deductions

Does Virginia have a standard deduction for individual tax filers?

Yes. In fact, the state of Virginia is one of the few states that requires its taxpayers to take the state standard deduction if they took the federal standard deduction.

See the Virginia standard deduction rates in the table below:

Itemized deductions

If you did not claim the standard deduction on your federal tax return, you have the option to claim qualifying itemized deductions on your Virginia state tax return.

Here are some of the most common tax deductions that Virginia offers taxpayers:

Child and dependent care expenses

Parents who were eligible to claim a deduction for child and dependent care expenses on their federal tax return can also claim these expenses on their Virginia tax return.

Foster care deduction

The state of Virginia allows foster parents to claim a $1,000 deduction for each child living in their home, so long as they meet the guidelines for permanent foster care. The foster child must be claimed as a dependent on the foster parent’s federal and state tax returns.

Bone marrow screening fee deduction

Virginians who applied to be bone marrow donors can deduct the screening test fee on their state tax return, so long as they didn’t claim a deduction for it on their federal return.

Continuing teacher education

To help account for the costs to maintain their credentials and teaching requirements, qualifying Virginia taxpayers can deduct 20% of their unreimbursed tuition for continuing teacher education classes.

In addition to these state tax deductions, eligible Virginia taxpayers may also claim the following:

  • Virginia College Savings Plan Prepaid Tuition Contract Payments and College Savings Trust Account Contributions
  • Long-Term Health Care Premiums
  • Virginia Public School Construction Grants Program and Fund
  • Tobacco Quota Buyout
  • Sales Tax Paid on Certain Energy Efficient Equipment or Appliances
  • Organ and Tissue Donor Expenses
  • Virginia Bank Franchise Tax
  • Income from Dealer Disposition of Property
  • Prepaid Funeral, Medical, and Dental Insurance Premiums
  • ABLEnow Account Contributions
  • Disallowed Business Interest
  • Charitable Mileage

When deciding whether or not you should claim the standard or itemized deduction, you should ultimately consider which option will save you the most money on your tax return. However, taxpayers should note that they must have the proper documentation to support any tax deduction that they claim. If you claim a deduction for a charitable donation for example, you should have the appropriate receipts to prove the value of your donation, plus any dates and relevant details.

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Calculating Your Virginia Tax Refund

If you’re overwhelmed by Virginia state tax code, don’t be. Using our Virginia state income tax calculator is simple—just gather the following information and you’re ready to estimate your state taxes:

  • AGI
  • Zip code
  • Number of exemptions
  • Number of dependents
  • List of tax credits or deductions you qualify for

After you’ve estimated your Virginia state taxes using our state income tax calculator, use these tips to help you file your state tax return and plan for next year’s tax season.

  • Each state has its own statute that determines how long you should keep your tax records. The Virginia Department of Taxation says taxpayers should keep their tax records for at least three years from the filing deadline.
  • Familiarize yourself with the tax deductions and credits offered by your state so that you can tailor your financial decisions to help you save on next year’s taxes.
  • Speak with a tax professional to learn how you can optimize your tax planning strategy way before April approaches.
  • Once you receive your W-2 statement from your employer, verify that all of the information on the form is correct—including your withholdings and personal information.
How to Pay Virginia Taxes

Virginia taxpayers can pay their tax dues using one of the following payment methods:

The standard deadline for filing Virginia state taxes and federal taxes is April 15th. If you find that you do owe money to the Virginia Department of Taxation, you should create a plan for paying off your tax debt as soon as possible.

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Virginia Tax Facts
  • Virginia charges a $0.50 tax on all sheep and lambs sold within the state.
  • Peanuts in The Old Dominion state may come at a higher cost than others, thanks to the Peanut Excise Tax which helps fund the Virginia Peanut Board, which works to promote peanut farming.
  • Approximately 58.8% of Virginia’s tax revenue comes from personal income taxes.
Summary of Federal Taxes

If Virginia state taxes weren’t enough to keep you busy this tax season, federal taxes certainly will fill up your time. Remember, in addition to your state tax liabilities, you also need to plan for your federal taxes.

Luckily, federal tax code is the same for all states, so you don’t need to worry so much about quirky tax rules that may or may not apply to you. However, there are certain circumstances (like your income) that might impact how much you’re taxed or which tax initiatives you qualify for.

If numbers aren’t your thing or you’re just overestimating your taxes, our federal income tax calculator can help.

Summary of Federal Taxes
Remember that Virginia state taxes are separate from federal state taxes, and that the Virginia tax brackets are different at a state level.
Call us to stress less and save more on your federal tax refund.
Tax Considerations

This information is current as of 2019. Taxpayers should consider special circumstances that could impact their individual state tax return.

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