Tax Relief & Exemptions

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703-222-8234 TTY 711
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 225.5
Fairfax, VA 22035
Tim Tangen
Manager, Tax Relief

Tax Exemption for Disabled Veteran or Surviving Spouse



Disabled Veterans who need a pre-certificate of approval to assist them prior to purchasing a home in Fairfax County should email

Certain Disabled Veterans and their spouses are exempt from local real estate tax on their occupied principal residence, up to one acre of land, including the joint real property with the spouse. (§ 58.1-3219.5)

Qualifying veterans must be rated by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) as 100% service-connected and permanently and totally disabled: or with a service-connected, permanent and total disability rating less than 100%, but receiving VA benefits at the 100% rating due to individual unemployability.

Effective 2021, disabled veterans may qualify for vehicle tax exemption on one vehicle classified as a car or pick-up truck which is registered and operated for individual use (§ 58.1-3668). 

The Surviving Spouse of a disabled veteran who was also approved for the exemption may retain the real estate exemption but may not pass it on to other heirs. The new personal property exemption cannot be retained by the surviving spouse.

Surviving Spouses may also apply and be eligible for the exemption after the qualifying veteran passes away, if:

  • The veteran would have qualified for the exemption before his/her death.
  • The death of the qualified veteran occurred on or after January 1, 2011.
  • The surviving spouse of living in the home occupied by the qualifying veteran at the time of his/her death and was married to the veteran at time of death.
  • Surviving spouse does not remarry.
  • A surviving spouse who applies for the exemption after the death of the veteran, must continue to reside in the real property as their principal place of residence until the application is approved.

As of July 1, 2019, surviving spouses may move within the commonwealth and retain their exemption, as long as it is their principal place of residence and they do not remarry.

Required Documentation: (Applications cannot be processed without this documentation.)

  • Official Summary of Benefits letter (VA SOBL) from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that verifies the applicant is rated as 100% service-connected, permanent, and totally disabled (see examples above).
  • Marriage certificate, if the veteran and spouse do not share the last name.
    • If you are transferring an exemption from another Virginia locality or state, please submit a letter from the previous locality with the date the exemption expires.
  • Surviving spouses of a disabled veteran who has passed away must provide:
    • the veteran's VA Summary of Benefits letter showing s/he qualified.
    • Veteran's death certificate
    • proof that s/he is residing in the home where the veteran resided at the time of death
  • In some situations, VA Summary of Survivor benefits letters or redacted Decision Letters are being accepted.

Do Not Send:

  • VA Decision of Benefits letter - this is a long document with your personal medical diagnoses and HIPPA-protected healthcare information listed out. The county is not equipped to secure this information.
  • VA Dependents Education Assistance letter.
  • DD214
  • Surviving Spouses: do not send DIC or other insurance paperwork from DOD.
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