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Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Property Taxes

Q. Who has to pay personal property tax?
A. Anyone who has personal property garaged or located in Fauquier County on January 1 or anyone who moved here during the year for more than 15 days of any month, in which case their personal property tax will be prorated.

Q. What is considered taxable personal property?
A. Automobiles, trucks, motor homes, mobile homes, motorcycles, trailers, boats, outboard motors, aircraft, business personal property, and machinery and tools used in the manufacturing process.

Q. What is the personal property tax based on?
A. The tax is based on the assessed value of the property being taxed.

Q. Who sets the personal property tax rate?
A. The Board of Supervisors establishes a personal property tax rate each year. The tax rate may vary according to category.

Q. How do I calculate the tax I must pay?
A. Divide the property's assessed value by 100 and multiply by the current rate. For proration, divide that number by 12 then multiply that result by the number of months taxed.

Q. How is personal property assessed?
A. The assessed value of personal property is based on a recognized pricing guide if available or a percentage of the original cost. The pricing guides used for motor vehicles are the January Eastern Edition National Automobile Dealers Association Official Used Car Guide and the Official Older Used Car Guide.

Q. When must I file a tax return on my personal property if I am a Fauquier County Resident?
A. If you have previously filed a personal property tax return for any motor vehicle(s) or trailer(s) for which there has been no change in location or status you are not required to file another return on such vehicle or trailer. Taxpayers who have changes or vehicles newly located in Fauquier County on January 1 must file with the Commissioner by March 15. All other vehicles and trailers must be reported within 60 days of the date the property acquires situs in the county. Mobile Homes, Boats/Boat Motors, and Aircraft, Business Personal Property and Machinery and Tools must be filed annually.

Q. If I am a Town resident, when must I file a tax return on my personal property?
A. Town residents who have vehicles located in the incorporated Town on January 1, must file with the Town by March 15. All other vehicles and trailers must be reported within 60 days of the date the property acquires situs in the Town.

Q. Is there a penalty for filing a tax return late?
A Yes. If there is a filing requirement, a late filing penalty of 10% of the tax assessed is imposed and added to the tax bill for returns filed after the deadline.

Q. Where may tax returns be filed?
A. Personal property returns may be filed by mail, P.O. Box 437, Warrenton, Va. 20188 or in person at the Commissioner of the Revenue office, 29 Ashby Street, Warrenton; or at the Town Office.

Q. How may I obtain the forms for reporting personal property for assessment?
A. Contact the Commissioner of the Revenue at 422-8150 or come into the office at 29 Ashby Street, Warrenton.

Q. What are my tax obligations if I am on active military duty maintaining Fauquier County as my legal residence?
A. Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, your tax liability would be to Fauquier, regardless of where you are stationed or where your personal property may be garaged during the year. However, you may be exempt from the vehicle registration fee if you reside in the County.

Q. As an active duty member of the military will I be taxed for personal property in Fauquier County if I maintain a legal domicile in a state other than Virginia?
A. No. You would not be taxed in Fauquier on personal property registered in the name of the service person and/or spouse, and if you reside here by virtue of military orders. Military personnel must present a copy of their January LES for the current year.

Q. If my personal property is unused or unlicensed, do I still pay personal property taxes?
A. Yes. All personal property is taxable, even unlicensed or inoperable vehicles.

Q. If I am a resident of an incorporated town, what are the rules for purchasing a decal?
A. Contact your town official for details.

Q. When is my personal property tax payment due? A. Taxes on all personal property located in Fauquier County on January 1 and any property purchased or located in the county through approximately June 30 will be due on October 5. Taxes on vehicles and trailers only, acquired after then will be due 30 days from the date of the tax bill.

Q. Is there a penalty for paying my personal property tax late?
A. Yes. A penalty of 10% of the assessed tax will be added to the taxes due. In addition, interest will be due on both the tax and penalty, at a rate of 10% per annum until paid.

Q. What does proration mean?
A. Proration is the method of taxation on a monthly basis for the portion of the calendar year personal property is owned and/or located in the jurisdiction. In Fauquier County, only vehicles and trailers are prorated.

Q. If I move into Fauquier County from another Virginia county during the year, could I owe something in both places?
A. New residents who move to Fauquier County from a non-prorating county in Virginia and have already filed their personal property in their previous county will not be taxed again on that same property. Any vehicles and trailers acquired after moving to Fauquier County must be taxed from the date of purchase.

Q. What happens if I sell a vehicle during the year?
A. The tax will be prorated on a monthly basis, when you notify the Commissioner of the Revenue and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. The appropriate amount of tax already paid will either be refunded or credited by the treasurer, at your option, against the tax due on any vehicle or trailer acquired during the same tax year. This is an important Note: The Commissioner’s office must know specifically about your transaction in order to act on it.

Q. What happens if I move out of Fauquier County?

A1. Within Virginia:
If you move to a non-prorating county within Virginia, you will be liable to Fauquier County for the full year. If you move to a prorating county, you will be liable to Fauquier County for the amount of time you lived here and will be responsible for filing and paying taxes to the new county from the time you move there.

A2.Outside Virginia:
If you move outside Virginia, you are liable to Fauquier County for the time you resided in Virginia. However, you must make sure you cancel your Virginia tags and register in your new state of residence within 30 days of your move or your liability will remain with Fauquier County.

Q. If a college student keeps a vehicle where he resides during the school year, what is the affect on their personal property tax liability?
A. The vehicle is filed and taxed in the locality where the student resides during the school year.

Q. Do I need a Fauquier County decal?
A. Effective 2007, the requirement for a Fauquier County decal was eliminated and replaced with an annual vehicle registration fee for each calendar year. The Treasurer will bill the registration fee on the personal property tax bill. If you are a resident of an incorporated town, you will need to contact your town official for details regarding town decals.

Q. I am a new Virginia resident of Fauquier. How soon must I report my vehicle?
A. You must report your vehicle to the Commissioner of the Revenue within 60 days after moving into the county.

Q. When I sign over my vehicle title to a new owner is there anything else I need to do so I won't have to pay tax on it the next year?
A. Yes. The back of your state registration instructs you to notify the DMV of the disposition of the vehicle by returning the registration card. If you don't notify them they will send your old vehicle to us in our computer update and we will be obligated to tax you again. This is an important detail that can cause great aggravation at tax time.

Q. Will I be able to declare all my personal property on one form?
A. No. There is a separate form that must be completed for business personal property owned and machinery and tools used in manufacturing. The form and associated schedules/property lists are due no later than March 15. If you are unable to file by March 15, a request for a 30 day extension can be made in writing to the Commissioner of the Revenue. It must be made prior to March 15.

Date Last Modified: 01/21/2014


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