Military Tax Obligations
Tax Obligations of Military Personnel Living in Fairfax County
Personal Property Tax ("Car Tax")
Vehicles normally stored, parked or garaged overnight in Fairfax County, including Fort Belvoir, must be registered with Fairfax County. Any motor vehicle normally garaged, stored, or parked in the County or on a United States military base within the geographic boundaries of the County and registered in this state or any other jurisdiction whose owner is on full-time active duty in the military service absent from his state of residence or domicile may be exempted from local taxation upon application to DTA. Required documentation: State vehicle registration, proof of domicile, military orders, military LES, and photo ID. Beginning November 11, 2009, under the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (MSRRA, Public Law No. 111-97), a qualifying spouse who shares domicile with an exempt military service member, and who resides in Fairfax County in order to live with the service member, can also qualify for exemption (whether the vehicle is co-owned with the service member or owned individually by the spouse). Proof of domicile is required. See our Taxation of the Military page for Exemption Application and for more information regarding military exemptions, and MSRRA guidance provided by the Pentagon Army and Air Force legal Assistance Office.
The primary factors in determining exemption from the requirement to pay annual car taxes are domicile and military orders. The burden of proof on documenting the applicability of the exemption is on the person claiming the exemption. See our Taxation of the Military page for Exemption Application and for more information regarding military exemptions, and MSRRA guidance provided by the Pentagon Army and Air Force legal Assistance Office.
All military personnel and their family members living in Fairfax County, including Fort Belvoir, must register their vehicle within 60 days of bringing the vehicle into Fairfax County. If the owner is a legal resident of Fairfax County, then the property tax immunity is lost, resulting in annual taxation by Fairfax County. Similarly, leased vehicles are not "owned" by the military member and are subject to taxation.
The rules apply regardless of the state of vehicle registration because active duty military personnel may elect to register vehicles in accord with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003 (previously the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940), either in their state of legal residence or the host state in which they are currently serving pursuant to military orders.
If you are not exempt and your vehicle is bought or located within the county between Jan. 1 and June 30, you will receive a personal property tax bill in the mail, payable by Oct. 5. If your vehicle is bought or located within the county after June 30, your bill is payable by Feb. 15.
A military person who retires and remains in Fairfax County must report the change of status within 60 days. You also will become liable to Fairfax County for county personal property tax at that time.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has adopted a lower Car Tax rate of $0.01 per $100 of assessed value on one motor vehicle owned and regularly used by a qualifying disabled veteran in accordance with Virginia Code §58.1-3506(A)(19). Download the Application for Reduced Personal Property (Car Tax) Rate for Qualifying Disabled Veterans here. Applicants will be required to provide official documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that verifies the disabled veteran has been rated by such agency to have a "100% service-connected, permanent, and total disability or has either lost, or lost the use of, one or both legs, or an arm or a hand, or who is blind." The reduced Car Tax rate is subject each year to adoption by the Board of Supervisors during their deliberation on the County’s annual budget. Disabled veterans need only apply once, but must contact DTA to receive the lower rate on a different vehicle should the approved vehicle be otherwise moved, sold or disposed.
All active duty personnel who own real estate in Fairfax County must pay county real estate taxes. Most homeowners’ real estate taxes are collected by their mortgage companies in their monthly mortgage payments, and are in turn forwarded to the county in two installments. The first installment is due July 28 and the second installment is due Dec. 5. If you pay real estate taxes directly to the county, your tax bill is mailed to you a month before it is due.
Certain disabled veterans and their surviving spouses are exempt from local real estate tax on their principle residence. Please refer to our Real Estate Tax Assessments - Notice to Disabled Veterans/Property Owners page for additional information, application instructions, and required documentation.
Surviving spouses of veterans killed in action may be exempt from local real estate tax on their principle residence. Please refer to our Tax Exemption for Surviving Spouse of Veteran Killed in Action page for additional information, application instructions, and required documentation.
For Personal Property and Real Estate taxes, state law does allow
an extension for payment while a service member is deployed outside
of the United States. Virginia Code §58.1-3916 provides as
follows: “Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, the
local governing body shall allow an automatic extension on real
property taxes imposed upon a primary residence and personal property
taxes imposed upon a qualifying vehicle, as defined in §58.1-3523
[i.e., personal use vehicle], owed by members of the armed services
of the United States deployed outside of the United States. Such
extension shall end and the taxes due 90 days following the
completion of such member’s deployment. For purposes of this
section, ‘the armed services of the United States’ includes active
duty service with the regular Armed Forces of the United States or
the National Guard or other reserve component.”
To request a payment extension under this provision, the service member should notify DTA of his/her deployment and contact us and pay within 90 days of post deployment. Documentation, preferably a copy of military orders, will be required.
Income earned in Virginia, other than military pay, is taxable even though reported to the home state. This income should be reported on a Nonresident State Income Tax return. The Virginia State income tax is administered by the Virginia Department of Taxation, PO Box 760, Richmond, VA 23206.
Virginia Code §58.1-341 allows for a 90 day extension for filing income taxes for deployed members of the armed services of the United States deployed outside of the United States. Such extension shall end and the taxes due 90 days following the completion of such member’s deployment. Contact the Virginia Department of Taxation for more information.