Virginia State Income Tax Overview

Virginia imposes a state income tax on individuals, in addition to the federal income tax imposed on individuals by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  Below is a summary of key questions related to Virginia’s state income tax.

Filing Requirements

Who has to file state income tax in Virginia depends on the individual’s residency and income level.

Residents

Individuals who are residents of Virginia for the entire year must file a state income tax return if the following is true:

  • For singles for the 2011 tax year when their adjusted gross income is $11,650 or more, which moves to $11,950 for the 2012 tax year
  • For married filing jointly for the 2011 tax year when their adjusted gross income is $23,300 or more, which moves to $23,900 for the 2012 tax year
  • For married filing separately for the 2011 tax year when their adjusted gross income is $11,650 or more, which moves to $11,950 for the 2012 tax year

Adjusted gross income for Virginia residents is the same as adjusted gross income for a federal income tax return, plus additions for federal income tax deductions not allowed in Virginia (e.g., standard and itemized deductions, child and dependent care expense deductions, personal exemptions), and minus Virginia’s age deduction.

Non-Residents

Those who are not residents of Virginia for any part of the year who have income from a Virginia source must file a Virginia state income tax return.  The filing requirements for non-residents are the same as those noted above for Virginia residents, with adjusted gross income including income from all source—both Virginia and non-Virginia income sources.

Part-Year Residents

People who are residents of Virginia for only part of the year must file a Virginia state income tax return based on the same filing requirements as noted above for Virginia residents, except that adjusted gross income for tax purposes does not include income from non-Virginia sources.

If your income falls below the thresholds noted above but Virginia income tax was withheld from any of your earnings, you must also file a Virginia state income tax return to obtain a refund of that withholding.

Tax Rate

Virginia uses a variable tax rate for assessing state income tax, with the rate increasing the more income someone earns.  State income tax rates are determined as follows:

Income Tax Rate
$0 to $3,000 2%
$3,001 to $5,000 $60 + 3% of each dollar over $3,000
$5,001 to $17,000 $120 + 5% of each dollar over $5,000
$17,001 or more $720 + 5.75% of each dollar over $17,000

Deductions and Credits

Taxpayers who are age 73 or older no later than the first date of the year after the current tax year (e.g., for the 2011 tax year, this date would be January 1, 2012) may take an Age Deduction of $12,000.  For anyone who is age 65 to 72, the Age Deduction is reduced for every dollar of adjusted gross income the taxpayer has above $50,000.

Virginia also provides a deduction for those with a disability or a credit for those with low income.  If the taxpayer takes the Age Deduction, he cannot take the deduction for a disability or the credit for low income.  The taxpayer can determine which deductions give him the best benefit and take that deduction.

Filing Dates

State income tax returns for individuals must be filed in Virginia by May 1 of each year, or the next business day after May 1 if it falls on a weekend or holiday.  This filing dates makes Virginia one of the states that does not align the due date of the state income tax return with that of the federal income tax return.

Tax Preparation Assistance

If you need help preparing your Virginia state income tax return or if you just have questions, you should speak with a tax attorney who is familiar with Virginia state income tax law.  A tax attorney will be able to help determine your adjusted gross income, any credits or deductions due to you, and file your return by the due date.

 

by Mark Johnston

Mark has been a contributor to legal web sites related to bankruptcy, tax, and criminal law since 2011. He has an Accounting degree from Texas A&M University.