Tax Scam Alert
The Virginia Department of Taxation is committed to protecting its customers from identify theft and fraud. We would like to alert customers to a scam involving telephone calls from parties representing themselves as Internal Revenue Service Agents or Department employees. The callers may state that you have violated a tax law, cheated on tax credits, or owe money to the state or federal government. They may ask you to wire money, send cash or checks, disclose personal information, or submit money on pre-paid cards to resolve the matter. They may also threaten physical violence or imprisonment if you do not comply.
Remember: The Department’s employees and agents will never threaten violence to any customer. If a customer owes state taxes, the Department will send written notification(s) to the taxpayer’s address on file. If the taxpayer does not respond, our Compliance Office will attempt to collect the outstanding debt in compliance with state and federal laws. We will not ask for personal information through email, text messages, or other methods that are not secure. We also do not ask customers to resolve outstanding tax liabilities by submitting pre-paid cards.
Help us protect your information by keeping your account details current. Let us know if you have moved or have made changes to authorized agents, powers of attorney, or other authorized individuals on your account. If you ever have questions about your tax account, please contact our Customer Service Center at (804) 367-8031.
Information on the Taxpayer Rights Advocate
The Taxpayer Rights Advocate will ensure prompt review and resolution of problems and complaints that have not been successfully resolved through normal administrative procedures. The Taxpayer Rights Advocate will also ensure that your rights are protected in audit and collections procedures.
The Department's mission is to serve our customers by delivering an efficient, courteous, confidential and equitable tax revenue system. Our goal is to ensure that your rights are protected in all state tax assessment, audit, and collection procedures, so that you may have the highest confidence in the integrity of our tax system. You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect by our employees. You also have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and accurate responses to tax questions and requests for assistance and information. When you make a written request for tax information, you have the right to rely on our written advice.
In Contacting the Department of Taxation
During any contact you have with the Department, you have the right to have anyone you wish present with you. You may also be represented or advised by an attorney or accountant. If you desire to have another person, including an attorney or accountant, represent you when you are not present, you must sign a power of attorney form authorizing that person to act on your behalf. You also have the right to make an audio recording of any meeting held in connection with tax determination and collection actions, using your own equipment. You may suspend certain meetings to seek advice from your representative. Finally, you have the right to ask the Department's Taxpayer Rights Advocate for assistance with problems or complaints that have not been resolved through normal administrative channels. Information on the Taxpayer Rights Advocate is discussed later in this publication.
We keep all information about your tax liability in our records strictly confidential, including tax returns, correspondence, audit reports, and other account information. Virginia law allows only limited release of tax information, and prohibits the Department of Taxation from releasing information to any individual or organization that does not have the legal right to receive it.
When contacting the Taxpayer Rights Advocate, you will need to provide a detailed description of the problem or complaint and the steps you have taken to resolve the issue. Please include a daytime phone number in your request.
Taxpayer Rights Advocate
Virginia Department of Taxation
P.O. Box 546
Richmond, Virginia 23218-0546
Phone: (804) 367-8031 for Individuals
Phone: (804) 367-8037 for Businesses
FAX: (804) 786-1894
An offer in compromise is a proposal to settle your tax bill for less than the full amount. The offer will be considered based on available information. If you have been assessed penalty, the penalty can be reduced or waived entirely for good cause. Tax and interest may not be reduced or waived by the Tax Commissioner unless you can show that the liability is doubtful or that it is doubtful that the bill can be collected.
To request an offer in compromise, write to the Tax Commissioner describing the type of tax involved, taxable period, date and amount of the bill, and include a detailed explanation, along with supporting documentation, of the reasons why the tax, penalty or interest should be reduced or waived. If your offer is made because you cannot pay the bill, you must include a signed Financial Information Statement.
If the Tax Commissioner accepts your offer, any amounts waived will be removed from the bill. If your offer is not accepted, the balance of the bill must be paid. You may fax your individual offer in compromise or business offer in compromise with supporting documentation to the Tax Commissioner at (804) 786-3536, or mail it to:
Department of Taxation
P.O. Box 2475
Richmond, Virginia 23218-2475.