If you’re selling digital services and products to customers in Virginia, then you might be liable for Virginia’ sales tax. This guide covers two very important parts of the system:
- Registering for the tax, and then
- Filing tax returns on time.
We’ve scoured the Virginia Comptroller’s website to provide you with all the necessary information about sales tax for out-of-state businesses in one place.
How to register for sales tax in Virginia
Remote sellers register for sales tax in Virginia either online or via paper form, depending on whether the business has a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN or EIN).
Businesses with an EIN can register via Virginia Tax Online Services, an online tax portal. This portal is also where you’ll file and pay your tax returns. More on that later!
Other businesses must register by filling out a form and mailing or faxing it to the Virginia Comptroller office. You’ll find more information below.
Businesses with an EIN
The first step is to register for a sales tax permit. This is a really simple process! But before you begin, have this information handy:
- Your Social Security number
- Your EIN
- North American Industry Classification System number. Each number is a 2-6 digit code. Find yours in the NAICS directory.
Register for a seller’s permit
Go to the Virginia Tax Online Services site and click the option that says “Are you a new Business? Register Here”
Fill out all the fields requested in order to access the registration form. This includes creating a User ID and password to log into the Virginia Tax Online Services portal in the future.
From this point forward, simply provide all the information requested in the form. Here’s a handy checklist from Virginia Tax.
When you complete your registration, you’ll receive:
- Your Virginia Tax account number
- Your sales tax certificate of registration
- An assigned tax filing frequency: monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
You’ll also receive all the information you need to access your business online services account. This is where you’ll be able to file and pay taxes, send secure emails, and manage your Virginia Tax account.
Businesses without an EIN
In summary, the registration process is pretty simple! You must fill out Form R-1, Virginia Department of Taxation Business Registration Form and either fax the application to (804) 367-2603 or mail it to:
Virginia Department of Taxation
P.O. Box 1114
Richmond, VA 23218-1114
However, the form requires a lot of information, so it’s worth looking through and gathering all the necessary documents and data ahead of time. Here’s a sneak peek:
It will take a few weeks to receive your sales tax certificate, your Virginia Tax number, and login instructions for your online business account. When you do, you’ll also be assigned a filing frequency: monthly or quarterly.
Head toenroll in Business iFile to set up your access to the online portal! This is where you’ll be able to file and pay taxes, send secure emails, and manage your Virginia Tax account.
How to file sales tax returns in Virginia
Sales and taxes should be reported and filed using US dollars. If you’ve made any transactions in Virginia in a different currency, be sure to convert those to USD using official currency exchange rates.
When to file and pay
You must file a sales tax return either monthly or quarterly. The deadlines are as follows:
For monthly filers, reports are due on the 20th of the month following the reporting month. For example, the April sales tax report is due May 20.
For quarterly filers, reports are due on the 20th of the month following the reporting period.
- April 20, for first quarter ending March 31
- July 20, for second quarter ending June 30
- October 20, for third quarter ending September 30
- January 20, for fourth quarter ending December 31
Note: Didn’t make any sales in Virginia during your reporting period? You should still report that. This is called a “zero return” and it follows the exact same process as a normal return. (Just a little less data entry 😉)
How to file
Before you get started, you should collect all the information about your taxable sales in Virginia during the previous quarter. The tax website suggests having these pieces ready:
- total sales and income
- total purchases and expenses
Here the process differs based on whether you use a Business iFile account or not. It’s possible to file and pay Virginia taxes without logging in.
Log in to your online services account and select "File / Pay Taxes." Then select the tax type you need to file or pay. From there, simply fill in the requested fields until the form prompts you to submit.
With eForms, you can file and pay digitally without using a business online services account. There’s no login or password required. Simply fill in the required fields, and pay any tax due at the end.
Fill out the form here: Retail Sales and Use Tax for Out-of-state dealer's (Form ST-8)
How to pay
Tax payments must be made using US dollars.
Business Online Services Account
You can pay directly in the online portal via debit bank transfer from your credit or savings account.
You can set up a direct debit payment or ACH transfer. Remember to include your 15-digit Virginia tax number, as well as the appropriate tax code for your payment. Your tax return code is likely 00041 (Sales and/or Use Tax Payment), but the full list is below:
What to do in between registering and filing?
Well, you must comply with all the rules for Virginia sales tax! That means charging at least 6% sales tax and watching out for local level taxes, among other things.
For further reading that will help you stay compliant and successful as a remote seller, check out our Business Guide to Sales Tax in Virginia.
Note: At Quaderno we love providing helpful information and best practices about taxes, but we are not certified tax advisors. For further help, or if you are ever in doubt, please consult a professional tax advisor or the Tax Agency.