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 eForms Frequently Asked Questions

 

General Information

What is eForms?

Virginia's eForms system is a free and secure method to file and pay state taxes electronically. These eForms are designed to look and function similar to the paper version of the tax returns; you simply fill in your information and submit it electronically to the Tax Department. eForms allow you to easily file and pay your tax returns without signing up.

What are the benefits of using eForms?

  • Free and secure way to file and pay state taxes online
  • Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Warehouse your payments for up to 90 days
  • No sign up required
  • Faster and easier than completing a paper tax return
  • Basic information can be saved and reused with each filing
  • Perform basic calculations for certain fields
  • Immediate confirmation
  • Save and/or print a copy of your tax return as an Adobe PDF (image document)
  • Save on your mailing time and postage
  • Help save taxpayer dollars by reducing paper processing and increasing efficiency in the Commonwealth

What tax returns can I file with eForms?

Sales and Use Tax

For periods beginning on or after July 1, 2013:

  • Form ST-9, Sales and Use Tax Return – For Single Locality Filers
  • Form ST-9 (with Schedules ST-9B and ST-9R), Sales and Use Tax Return – For Multiple Locality Filers
  • Form ST-8 (with Schedules ST-8B and ST-8R), Out-of-State Use Tax Return

For periods before July 1, 2013:

  • Form ST-9, Sales and Use Tax Return
  • Form ST-9CO (with Schedule ST-9B), Sales and Use Tax Return – Consolidated Filer 
  • Form ST-8 (with Schedule ST-6B), Out-of-State Dealer's Use Tax Return 

Employer Withholding Tax

  • Form VA-15, Semi-Weekly Withholding Payment
  • Form VA-16, Quarterly Withholding Reconciliation of VA-15 payments
  • Form VA-5, Monthly Withholding Tax Return
  • Form VA-5, Quarterly Withholding Tax Return
  • Form VA-6, Annual / Final Withholding Reconciliation
  • Form VA-6H, Household Annual Withholding Reconciliation
  • Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement

Corporation Income Tax

  • Form 500CP, Corporate Extension Payment
  • Form 500ES, Corporate Estimated Payment
  • Form 500EZ, Corporate Income Tax Short Return
  • Form 500V, Corporate Income Tax Payment

Motor Vehicle Rental Tax

  • Form MVR-420, Motor Vehicle Rental Tax Return (with Schedule MVR-420B)

Insurance Premiums License Tax

  • Form 800ES, Insurance Premiums License Tax Estimated Payment
  • Form 800V, Payment Voucher
  • Form 801, Surplus Lines Brokers Quarterly Tax Report
  • Form 802, Surplus Lines Brokers Annual Reconciliation Tax Report

How secure is my information?

Your Internet session and eForm submission is encrypted in a secure environment, like the Virginia Tax Department's other online systems. This means that your information is protected from any unauthorized access when it is submitted. You may also read about our privacy and security policies.

What do I need before starting?

Before you get started, you should have available the following information:

  • Your complete 15-digit tax account number, which includes a 9-digit Employer Identification Number and the correct business location number (F001, F002, etc.)
  • Your tax return amounts
  • Your schedule amounts (when applicable)
  • Your routing number / account number for your checking account (when making a payment)
  • The correct filing period

Where do I log in?

The eForms system does not require a login to securely file and pay returns. eForms allows you to simply fill in your return/payment information and submit it electronically to the Tax Department.

If you use a login ID (such as an account number or email address) and password, they are for one of our other online systems: Business iFile or Web Upload. If you are unsure about which online system you use, please feel free to Contact Us.

Can I file a prior period tax return?

Yes. You may select a prior period from the month and year drop-down menus.

Can I file more than one eForm at a time?

No. You may have only one eForm open when you file and pay. Each eForm must be filed separately from another.

Do I need to mail in my tax return after I use the eForms system?

No. Filing and paying the tax return electronically with eForms replaces mailing a paper tax return and check. Do not mail in a paper tax return if you submitted through eForms.

Do I have to pay when I file? How do I pay my tax return?

You are required to pay electronically when you file through the eForms system. When an amount is due with the tax return, the Payment Details screen will require you to enter your routing number, bank account number and payment amount. Payments are made electronically by debiting your checking account. You have the option of warehousing your payment for up to 90 days from the date you are filing the return. Do not mail in a paper check if you submitted through eForms.

What information should I keep for my records?

After you file your tax return, you have the option to save an electronic copy to your computer or print a copy for your records. If you made a payment with the tax return, a copy of the payment confirmation is also available. Both documents will include your confirmation number.

You can save the tax return as an Adobe PDF (a type of image document) after it is filed. Click the "Save / Print eForm" button (displayed at the top and bottom of the screen) and the image of the completed eForm will appear. You can save and/or print a copy from this screen.

If the PDF does not open, Adobe PDF Reader may not be up to date. You will be asked to update it before you continue. Adobe Reader and any available updates are free.

NOTE: If you have received a confirmation number, but are having issues opening your PDF copy, do not file another return. The EZ number is your confirmation that you have successfully filed and the Tax Department has received the return. If you are unsure about your filing status or would like a copy of your return mailed to you, please Contact Us for assistance.

What are the eligibility requirements to file the 500EZ eForm?

The modified simple version of Form 500 is available for any business that meets all of the following conditions:
  • 100% of the corporation’s business is in VA
  • is not a Pass-Through-Entity
  • federal taxable income does not exceed $25,000
  • total additions to federal taxable income equal $1000 or less
  • total subtractions to federal taxable income equal $1000 or less
  • is not included in consolidated or combined filing of another entity
  • will not claim NOL Deduction for year being filed
  • does not claim any tax credits except tentative tax payments or estimated tax payments
  • is not required to pay Federal Alternative Minimum Tax
  • is not a Telecommunications Corporation required to file Form 500T or an Electric Cooperative required to file Form 500EL
  • does not claim any Fixed Date Conformity (FDC) Adjustments or Modifications

Do I have to send a copy of my federal return with my 500EZ eForm?

Taxpayers who submit Form 500EZ are not required to submit a copy of their federal return.  Please maintain a copy of your federal return with your records and do not mail a copy to the Virginia Department of Taxation..

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Computer Requirements

Do I need software or special Internet settings on my computer to use eForms?

All you need to use eForms is a computer with a standard browser and access to the Internet. You can ensure your computer and Internet browsers are up to date and meet basic requirements by using the links below. You will need a printer if you wish to print a copy of your eForm records. For more information, please visit our Site Help page.

I get a blank page / white screen when I open an eForm. What should I do?

Use the links above to check the version of your Internet browser and to ensure Adobe Flash Player is up to date.

I think my Internet browser is displaying an old version of the eForms. How to I make sure the latest version is displayed?

If you are unsure that you are viewing the latest version, follow these instructions after you click on the eForm:

  • Internet Explorer: Press "CTRL" and "F5" at the same time on your keyboard. Select "Leave this page" in the resulting pop-up message.
  • Chrome: Click into the address bar. Press "CTRL" and "F5" at the same time on your keyboard. Select "Reload this page" in the pop-up message.
  • Firefox: Click into the address bar. Press "CTRL" and "F5" at the same time on your keyboard. Select "Leave page" in the pop-up message.

Your Internet browser window will refresh and the latest version of the eForm will then be ready for you to file and pay. You only have to perform this action once.

What if I cannot open the eForm?

Check to see if Adobe Flash Player is up to date, since it is required to use eForms.

I can only see part of the eForm. How do I see all of it?

Check the view/zoom settings of your Internet browser; you may be zoomed in too closely to see the entire eForm. You can reset your zoom settings by pressing "CTRL" and "0" (zero) at the same time on your keyboard.

I cannot print my filed tax return, what should I do?

Check to see if your computer meets the basic requirements to view the filed tax return: Adobe Acrobat Reader. If your computer meets the basic requirements, you may need to review your printer settings.

NOTE: If you have received a confirmation number, but are having issues opening your PDF copy, do not file another return. The EZ number is your confirmation that you have successfully filed and the Tax Department has received the return. If you are unsure about your filing status or would like a copy of your return mailed to you, please Contact Us for assistance.

What should I do if my eForm is not displayed clearly? It looks blurry and I can’t read it.

This issue is for customers using the Google Chrome Internet browser. This issue is likely caused by an two versions of the Adobe Flash Player competing with each other. Google is aware of this issue and an update should be pushed to Google Chrome soon.

To fix this issue now, follow these instructions to use the correct version of Adobe Flash Player:

  1. Open the Google Chrome browser.
  2. In the URL bar at the top, type about:plugins and press Enter.
  3. Click the “Details” link, located in the top-right corner of the window.
  4. Find “Adobe Flash Player” in the list displayed.
    NOTE: If more than one Flash player is installed, two versions will display in the list.
  5. Click “Disable” next to the Flash entry of Type NPAPI.
  6. Click “Enable” next to the Flash entry of Type PPAPI.
    NOTE: PPAPI is the version from Google.
  7. Close your current Google Chrome browser window and open a new one.
  8. Open an eForm to see if it is displayed correctly.

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How to Use eForms

How do I file and pay my tax return?

An eForms User Guide is available for you to review. The User Guide provides an example of filing a tax return that is tax due with a payment and an example of a tax return that has no tax due (no payment). Images of eForms screens are included in the guide.

These are the basic steps to file and pay your tax return:

  • Visit the eForms landing page.
  • Click the eForm you want to file.
  • Complete the required fields on the tax return (and schedule tab when applicable): filing period, account number, business information, tax amounts, etc. Required fields are in bold.
  • Click "Calculate" to check for errors and do basic calculations.
    • When no payment is due, click "File Now".
    • When payment is due,
      • Click "Pay Now" to enter your banking information and choose a payment date.
      • Click "Confirm Payment" to verify the banking information is correct.
  • Complete the Electronic Signature and click "OK" to submit your eForm.
  • Review the Confirmation Number and Information.
  • Click "Save / Print eForm" (blue button) to view a PDF of your filed tax return and payment confirmation.
    • You may save and/or print a copy for your records.
    • This copy with the confirmation number is your proof that you filed the tax return and payment.
  • Once you view and/or print your filed tax return, you may exit the eForms system by closing the browser window.

Why can't I enter information into certain fields?

You may enter information into fields that are displayed in white. If a field is gray and you are unable to enter information, it means that the field is calculated for you.

Calculated fields are based on other information, like tax withheld or gross sales, and will be populated after you select the blue "Calculate" button. When you move your mouse cursor over a gray field, a tooltip message will indicate that the field is automatically computed for you.

I need to fill out the schedule for my tax return. Where is it?

Forms that contain a schedule will have an additional tab located at the top-left corner of the tax return. Click on this tab to navigate to the schedule.

You have two ways to go back to the tax return:

  • Click on the gray tab at the top-left corner labeled with the Form name; or
  • Click on the "Back to Form" button at the bottom-right corner of the schedule screen.

When should I click the "Calculate" button? Why should I click it?

Once you have entered all of the tax return (and schedule) information, click the blue "Calculate" button to check for basic errors and to perform basic math calculations. This helps to ensure the information displayed is as correct as possible. If no corrections are required, you will be given the next step to "File Now" or "Pay Now".

Will eForms calculate penalty and interest for my late return?

No, eForms does not currently support that option. If you wish to pay the penalty and interest with the return, it must be manually calculated and entered. You may Contact Us if you need assistance with determining the amounts.

Will eForms calculate the Dealer’s Discount for my Sales and Use tax returns?

Yes, if you leave the field blank eForms will calculate the amount for you. If you are late or do not qualify for the Dealer’s Discount, you must enter "0" (zero) in that field.

How do I correct an error?

Fields with errors will be highlighted in red. Click on the highlighted field to read the full error message. Be sure to check the Schedule tab (if applicable) for error messages. The most common reasons for an error are that a required field is left blank or the entered information is incomplete. For example, the account number field requires 9 digits but only 8 were entered.

After you have corrected any errors, click the blue "Calculate" button again. Once there are no more errors, you will be able to file and pay the tax return.

Can I make changes if I enter wrong information on the eForm?

Yes. You can make corrections once you have entered information, but only before you file the tax return.

  • If you are on the Form screen, click the "Make Changes" button to edit the fields.
  • If you are on the Payment Details screen, you must click "Cancel" to go to the previous screen before you can click "Make Changes".

I discovered a mistake after I filed my tax return. How can I fix it?

If you discover mistakes after you have filed and you need to submit an amended return, you may complete a new tax return through eForms and mark the "amended return" checkbox. See Amending an eForm for more details.

  • Filing an amended eForm does not override or cancel any returns you previously submitted. If the amended return results in a refund, you must file a paper return instead. eForms does not allow refund/overpayment returns.
  • If you need to make changes before submitting your tax return, click the "Make Changes" button and correct the appropriate field(s) in the form.

How do I know my tax return and payment was filed? Will I get confirmation?

The status of your tax return is displayed in the top-right corner of the screen. Once the return is successfully filed, the status changes from, "NOT FILED" in red, to "FILED" in green. If you made a payment with the tax return, it will display "FILED AND PAID".

You will also receive a confirmation number that starts with "EZ" to indicate your tax return and payment was filed through eForms. This number appears on the "Confirmed Filing" screen, the PDF copy of your tax return, and the payment confirmation tab (when applicable). Be sure to save and/or print this confirmation as filing proof.

I forgot to save and/or print a copy of my tax return for my records. What do I do?

If you have not closed the browser window and can still see the blue "Save / Print eForm" button in the top-right and bottom-right corner of the screen, you can click this button to save and/or print a copy of your tax return.

However, the copy cannot be retrieved if you have already closed the screen. This is why it is important to save and/or print a copy of the filed tax return before closing the screen.

Can I file my eForm now and pay later?

Yes. There is the option to "Schedule payment for" a future date that you select from a monthly calendar. You may select a date up to, but no more than 90 days from the date you are currently filing. You have the option to review and change the date before you submit by clicking "Cancel".

To file and pay on the current date, leave the Payment Date option on the default of "Today" and continue filing the eForm.

NOTE: If you select a payment date later than the due date, the return will be subject to penalty and interest.

Can I change the payment date on an eForm after it is filed?

No. Once you submit the eForm, the Virginia Tax Department cannot change the date on your return and payment – even if you scheduled it for a future processing date. Be sure to review your payment details and payment date before submitting your eForm.

I filed an eForm with errors. Can it be stopped? What do I do?

No, the eForm you filed cannot be stopped or cancelled.

If there is a payment involved, you may wish to contact your bank for options on how to address the payment. You are still responsible for making sure a tax return is timely filed and paid to the Virginia Tax Department.

  • If you have to submit an amended return, you may complete a new tax return through eForms, ensuring that you select the "amended return" checkbox.
  • Filing an amended eForm does not override or cancel any returns you previously submitted. If the amended return results in a refund, you must file a paper return instead. eForms does not allow refund/overpayment returns. See Amending an eForm for more details.

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Amending an eForm

What is an amended return?

An amended return is a tax return filed to adjust or correct the information reported on a return previously filed for the same taxable period.

There are several scenarios where you may need to file an amended return. For example, you may need to file an amended return if your original return contained incorrect tax figures, if the wrong filing period was used, or if the account number was entered incorrectly.

Does an amended eForm overwrite or cancel any returns I previously submitted?

No, sending an amended eForm does not override or cancel any previously submitted returns; the Tax Department will receive all of the returns you submit. You may contact the Tax Department to explain the reason for the amended eForm.

If you file a return containing errors, you may submit an amended return with the correct information through eForms. Payments associated with all submitted returns will be processed.

I'm filing an amended return because I owe more than I paid on the first tax return. What payment amount do I enter?

Complete the amended tax return with your correct figures for the filing period, but only pay the difference between the total amount you owe and the amount you paid on the first return. Enter the difference in the "Payment Amount" field on the Payment Details screen.

I filed a paper return and paid more than I owe. Can I file an amended eForm?

No. If you paid more than you owe, you cannot use eForms to file an amended return. You must file an amended paper return and indicate whether you want the overpayment refunded to you or transferred to the next filing period.

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Saving eForm Information 

Can I start my eForm and finish it later? How can I retrieve it later?

Yes, you can save your progress as a Draft. Click the "Save as Draft" button and you will be prompted to enter a password to save your progress. In order to access saved eForm data, you must be on the same computer that you originally used to save your Draft.

NOTE: You can save one Draft on your computer for each form type supported by eForms (i.e. VA-5, ST-9, etc.). You do not need a unique password for each eForm Draft.

To retrieve your saved Draft, you must use the same computer. Visit the eForms page and click on the form you were preparing. A pop-up titled "Retrieve Saved Data" will appear. Enter your password to continue working on the form. If you are not using the same computer, you will not be asked for your password and a new, blank tax return will be displayed instead.

I saved a Draft of my eForm. What happens if I don't come back and finish it?

The eForm will remain as a Draft until you come back to complete and file it. There is no penalty for saving an eForm Draft and not returning to it, but you are still responsible for timely filing and paying your tax return with the Virginia Tax Department.

I use the same business and banking information when I file. Can I save it instead of re-entering it each time?

Yes. You can save your information in a template known as a Starter Return. This will save all information (business name and address, banking information, etc.) except for the new filing period and the tax return amount you report on each eForm.

This option is available once you reach the confirmation screen labeled "Confirmed Filing". You must click the "Save Starter Return" button and enter a password to save the template to your computer.

NOTE: You can save one Starter Return on your computer for each form type supported by eForms (i.e. VA-5, ST-9, etc.). You do not need a unique password for each eForm Starter Return.

To retrieve your saved Starter Return, you must use the same computer. Visit the eForms page and click on the form you were preparing. A pop-up titled "Retrieve Saved Data" will appear. Enter your password to continue working on the form. If you are not using the same computer, you will not be asked for your password and a new, blank tax return will be displayed instead.

What is the difference between a Draft and a Starter Return?

Both types of saved data are stored on your computer and are accessed with a password.

  • A Draft is an eForm that has not been filed. Until you take action to file, the eForm remains as a Draft with a "NOT FILED" status. A Draft will save any information you entered so far, both demographic and/or financial.
  • A Starter Return is a template created from a filed eForm. A Starter Return saves common information that is on each tax return such as name and address, account number, and banking information. It will not save any of the tax financial information that is specific to a reporting period such as payment amounts. The purpose of the Starter Return is to save you time by eliminating the need to re-enter the same business and banking information each time you file.

Where is my Draft or Starter Return data stored?

The data is saved on your computer and can only be retrieved on the computer from which it was originally saved.

NOTE: You can save one Draft or Starter Return on your computer for each form type supported by eForms (i.e. VA-5, ST-9, etc.). You do not need a unique password for each eForm Draft or Starter Return.

What if I forget my password to access my Draft or my Starter Return?

You have multiple attempts to enter your password. After the last failed attempt, a pop-up message will inform you that the saved data will be deleted from your computer and a new, blank eForm will be displayed. You may then enter and save the eForm data with a new password. The Virginia Tax Department will not be able to reset or provide any password information.

Can I delete saved eForm information from my computer?

Yes. On the "Retrieve Saved Data" pop-up message, click the "Delete Data" button the next time you access the eForm. This will clear any data previously entered in your tax return. This applies to a Draft and a Starter Return.

I use Firefox as my Internet browser. When I return to eForms, why can't I enter my password to retrieve my saved Draft or Starter Return?

Mozilla Firefox offers a privacy mode in its Internet settings that "Never Remembers History". If that setting is turned on, Firefox will "forget" all saved information (across all websites) when the browser window is closed.

  • If you use Firefox and want to save eForms information, the privacy mode setting should be set to "Remember History".
  • You can review this setting by clicking on the "Tools" menu and then by selecting "Options". The "Privacy" tab will allow you to change the setting to your preference.

Can I save an electronic copy of my tax return?

Yes. You can save the tax return as an Adobe PDF (a type of image document) after it is filed. Click the "Save / Print eForm" button (displayed at the top and bottom of the screen) and the image of the completed eForm will appear. You can save a copy and/or print it from this screen.

If the PDF does not open, then Adobe PDF Reader may not be up to date. You will be asked to update it before you continue. Adobe Reader and any available updates are free.

Can I have a PDF copy of my tax return emailed to me?

Yes. You have the option to receive a copy of the confirmation PDF sent to an email address of your choosing. This feature is optional and is provided as a backup to the “Save / Print eForm” function within eForms.

To receive an email confirmation, complete the email address fields within the Electronic Signature portion of your eForm submission. You will receive an email that includes a hyperlink to the confirmation PDF. Additional instructions will be included in the body of the email.

NOTE: Entering your email address permits the Virginia Department of Taxation to email you the confirmation PDF for your transaction, which contains return and payment details.

The Department of Taxation discourages using non-business email addresses or shared mailboxes. Do not share this email or the contents therein with unauthorized persons. The Department of Taxation does not assume responsibility if an incorrect email address is entered.

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How to Get Help

If I have questions about filing out my tax return or using eForms, what can I do?

  • Refer to the return instructions with the "See [Form] Instructions" link at the top of each eForm.
  • Review the error message instructions.
  • Review the eForms User Guide.
  • Refer to the Contact Us link at the top of each eForm.

If I need help with a line on the tax return, what should I do?

The link within each eForm titled, "See [Form] Instructions," will direct you to the paper instructions for filling out the tax return. If you need further help, you may also Contact Us.

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