Welcome to the world of income tax processing!

So, you're brand new and you're wondering "where and how do I get started?"

The first thing to understand is that you and your local office are partnering with Virginia Tax to receive and process income tax returns from the taxpayers of Virginia. Virginia Tax receives returns directly, and the localities in Virginia receive them as well. Your locality performs many important functions in a teamwork effort with Virginia Tax to provide quality service to all taxpayers by processing their individual tax returns and providing customer service information.

Roles and responsibilities - Commissioners of the Revenue

As a Commissioner of the Revenue, you have a couple options with regard to individual income tax processing:

  • Act as a "Direct File Locality" - of the 133 localities, 18 currently exercise this option. Your responsibility is to simply redirect any tax returns that you receive to Richmond via P.O. Boxes 1498 or 760.
  • Act as a "Local File Locality" - the responsibilities here are much different, and your involvement with Virginia Tax is much more engaged with regard to individual income tax processing. Your responsibilities would include:
    • Accepting individual tax returns in your office directly.
    • Screening, sorting, and preparing all tax returns for shipment to Richmond.
    • Screening, sorting, and preparing estimated payments received, using one of two options (paper filing or electronic transmission).
    • Keying qualifying returns through e-file to truncate paper flow and speed up refunds, if you so choose.
    • Depositing tax due payments received in procedural harmony with your Treasurer's office.
    • Predicting your locality volumes, deciding on your processing methods, and determining your staffing needs to support Commonwealth mandates for refund turnaround and depositing of funds.
    • Assembling the necessary IT hardware, software, and technical assistance to support access to Virginia Tax programs such as IRMS and VLC.
    • Acting as an extension of Virginia Tax with regard to customer service.
    • Submitting an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) to acquire online research access to IRMS information for your locality and neighboring ones you select. 

The following are applicable Code of Virginia sections with regard to the Commissioner of the Revenue's responsibilities for the handling of individual income tax returns and payments:

  • § 58.1-305 Duties of commissioner of the revenue relating to income tax 
  • § 58.1-307 Disposition of returns; handling of state income tax payments
  • § 58.1-350 Collection of delinquent tax
  • § 58.1-352 Memorandum assessments
  • § 58.1-3535 Commissioner of the revenue to furnish information to the treasurer
  • § 58.1-495 Payment of estimated tax; notice of installment due; information to be transmitted to Virginia Tax

Roles and Responsibilities - Treasurers

If your Commissioner of the Revenue is a "direct file" locality, you do not need to do anything related to these tasks.

If your Commissioner of the Revenue is a "local file" locality, you will focus on the following 5 key activities in conjunction with individual return processing performed by your neighboring Commissioner of the Revenue:

  • Process Tax Due Payments
  • Process Estimated Tax Payments
  • Handle Bad Checks
  • Handle Exonerations
  • Handle Local Uncollectible Bills

Note that you also will need to submit an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) to acquire online research access to IRMS information for your locality and neighboring ones you select.

The following are applicable Code of Virginia sections with regard to the Treasurer's responsibilities for the receipt of and depositing of payments as well as collection activities:

  • § 58.1-307 Disposition of returns; handling of state income tax payments
  • § 58.1-351 When, where and how individual income taxes payable and collectible
  • § 58.1-353 Duties of county and city treasurer in collecting tax
  • § 58.1-495 Payment of estimated tax; notice of installment due; information to be transmitted to Virginia Tax

What tools will you need to do your job? 

If you choose the "local filed" route, our goal is to provide you with the necessary instruction and direction to adequately understand the processes involved in local individual return processing and preparation - a roadmap that will define your responsibilities and outline the tools you will need to start and maintain a successful program.

There are several basic components that you will need to be familiar with to help you see the big picture. These elements, used collectively and simultaneously, provide the framework for your knowledge requirements:

Locality website - you're in it right now!

You can access the locality website from Virginia Tax's home page. The locality website provides information and links to the various training and operational components you will need to stay abreast of current and changing developments.

VLC

Self-study training provided by Virginia Tax is accessible via the Virginia Learning Center (VLC) over the internet. This training format provides you flexibility to take courses at your own pace and schedule without requiring travel. You also have the option to repeat lessons to refresh your knowledge at anytime.

IRMS

IRMS (Integrated Revenue Management System) is the customer database Virginia Tax and the localities use to post and retain all taxpayer information regarding filing requirements and activities related to tax returns. You must be able to navigate in IRMS in areas that are relevant to your responsibilities as a locality representative serving your constituents. We will direct you on how to get started and what training courses to take to help you quickly understand the mechanics and contents of IRMS. Your IRMS login ID and password will not be issued until the appropriate IRMS training courses have been completed.

Click here for a quick reference job aid that provides you with contact and resource information for questions you may have related to IRMS.

OK, let's get started in this order:

IRMS Training and System Access

The IRMS training program is delivered via Virginia Learning Center (VLC) over the internet. This training method provides you flexibility to take the training courses at your own pace and schedule and provides the option to refresh your knowledge at anytime. The VLC is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To request access to the IRMS training program and the IRMS system, you must email a request to Virginia Tax Security Administration. Review the source below for details on how to initiate and complete your IRMS training and system access request:

Employee Access Requirements and Forms 

Once you’ve been approved to access IRMS training, you will receive instructions to register in the VLC. There, you’ll find all of your IRMS training courses listed in an easy-to-follow curriculum that will guide you through your training. To get started, select the appropriate curriculum based on your job duties and role in your office. 

The table below describes the applicable training curricula. We recommend breaking study time into 1-2 hour increments to be most effective - we discourage trying to take all lessons in one sitting. Lessons vary in completion time from 10 minutes to approximately one hour depending on the specific topic, and the pace of the individual learner.

Locality Role Estimated Completion Time
Commissioner of the Revenue - Direct File 9 Hours
Commissioner of the Revenue - Local File 10.5 Hours
Director of Finance 7.5 Hours
Treasurer's Office 9.5 Hours
Treasurer's Office with Set-Off Program Participation 15 Hours
IRMS Security Administrator 2 hours

When your training is complete, follow the instructions to submit the IRMS Authorization Request Form provided by Virginia Tax Security Administration to request system access. Any system access request form submitted prior to training completion will be denied. 

Annual Locality Income Tax Filing Season Training

Each fall, Virginia Tax provides online training through the locality website and the VLC relating to the upcoming filing season. This training includes filing season statistics from the previous year, upcoming legislative and forms changes, and processing updates and reminders. We notify localities when this training is available each fall and provides instructions on how to access it.

Once you complete your IRMS training, you will also need to take this income tax training to prepare you for processing tax returns.

Follow these steps to initiate and complete your Annual Income Tax Filing Season Training:

  1. Access the Locality Website Main Page and navigate to the "Annual Locality Income Tax Filing Season Training" section.
  2. Click the link to the introductory Welcome Letter and follow the order of the training as prescribed. The combination of VLC training and website information will guide you through everything you need to know to begin processing tax returns.

Now, enjoy your new job!