What dealer discounts are offered to the providers?

As of June 1, 2010, both the Communications Sales Tax dealer discount and the landline E-911 dealer discount have been repealed.

What distribution percentage is my locality normally entitled to?

Beginning July 1, 2009, legislation enacted in the 2009 Session of the General Assembly amended Va. Code § 58.1-662 to allow localities to report to Virginia Tax any Telecommunications and Television Cable Funds collected in Fiscal Year 2006 from local tax rates adopted on or before January 1, 2006 that were not originally included in the distribution percentages. Virginia Tax computes each locality distribution percentage based on any submitted changes and uses that computation each month to send the proper distribution amounts.

How is the distribution of communications taxes revenues computed?

After payment of direct costs of administering the communications taxes, payments for the Virginia Relay Center and distributions for franchise fees due to localities, the remaining revenues received from the communications sales tax, the E-911 tax, and the public rights-of-way use fee will be distributed to counties, cities and towns.

When do localities receive their monthly distributions of communications taxes revenues?

The revenues are distributed to counties, cities and towns by the 25th day of the month following the month in which the return is due. For example, the January return is due on February 20, and the January revenues would be distributed by March 25.

What action can a local office take if a service provider is not collecting and remitting the proper amount of communications taxes?

The local office should report the noncompliance to Virginia Tax. Virginia Tax can audit the provider's records, assess for any deficiencies in taxes collected, and provide training to ensure better compliance in the future.

How do localities receive distribution reports? Can a local office view statewide distribution information?

Each locality receives a Communication Tax Distribution report of the statewide communications taxes revenues each month, including a breakdown of the communications sales tax, E-911 tax, and public rights-of-way use fees. The report also breaks down the distributions for Virginia Tax's administration fee and the amount transferred to the Virginia Department of Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Each city, county, and town receives a copy of the Communication Tax Distribution report that includes both the total amount of communication tax revenue available for distribution and their own locality’s percentage of the statewide distribution. Virginia Tax computes the percentage as localities are added, removed, or adjustments are made to the original 2006 Auditor of Public Accounts (APA) computation. The report is sent to the same individual in each locality who receives the sales and use tax reports.

How does each locality receive its distribution?

Virginia Tax distributes the funds in the same way we distribute the retail sales and use tax, except that towns also receive distributions directly.

Can a locality conduct an audit to verify that the cable franchise fee reported by a provider is correct?

Yes. Local revenue officials have the authority to conduct audits to verify that a provider has reported its cable franchise fees correctly.

Can my locality bill more than 0.5 percent to a customer for the Business Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) tax?

No. House Bill 568 repealed the portion of the BPOL tax on the gross receipts of gross receipts of telephone and telegraph companies exceeding 0.5%. Localities can collect up to the 0.5%. For details, see the Guidelines and Rules for the Virginia Communications Taxes.

Do localities still receive the telephone public rights-of-way use fee revenues?

Providers distribute the telephone rights-of-way ("ROW") fee in the same manner they did prior to the passage of HB 568. If a locality maintains their own roads and have imposed a telephone ROW fee, the locality will continue to receive the telephone ROW fee.

How do localities receive their cable franchise fees?

The franchise fees are distributed by Virginia Tax as part of each locality's regular monthly distribution, not as separate payments.