Certain disabled veterans and their surviving spouses are exempt from local real estate tax on their principal residence. (Code of Virginia, Title 58.1, Chapter 32, Article 2.3. Exemption for Disabled Veterans)
The law exempts from taxation real property, including the joint real property of the spouse, of any veteran who has been rated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to have a 100% service-connected, permanent, and total disability, and who occupies the real property as their principal place of residence. Veterans with a service-connected, permanent, and total disability rating less than 100%, but receiving VA benefits at a 100% due to individual unemployability may qualify.
If the veteran's disability rating occurs after January 1, 2011, and they had a qualified primary residence on the date of the rating, then the exemption for them, under this section, begins on the date of such rating. However, there is no interest on any refund due to the veteran for taxes paid prior to the veteran's filing. If the qualified veteran acquires the property after January 1, 2011, then the exemption shall begin on the date of acquisition, and the previous owner may be entitled to a refund for a pro rata portion of real property taxes paid pursuant to Code of Virginia § 58.1-3360.
The surviving spouse of a veteran eligible for the exemption also qualifies for the exemption, so long as the death of the veteran occurs on or after January 1, 2011, the surviving spouse does not remarry, and the surviving spouse continues the real property as their principal place of residence.
Required Documentation: (Exemption cannot be processed without this documentation.)
- Official documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or its successor agency pursuant to federal law that verifies the disabled veteran applicant has been rated by such agency to have a 100% service-connected, permanent, and total disability
- Marriage certificate, if the veteran and spouse do not share the last name
- If applicable, in the event of a surviving spouse of a disabled veteran claiming this exemption, the surviving spouse must also provide documentation (death certificate and VA documentation indicating that the veteran died as result of their service connected disability on or after January 1, 2011)
Generally, the application is a one-time process and does not need to be submitted annually, unless there is a change in circumstances, such as the veteran’s principal place of residence changing.
Land in excess of one acre, structures not attached to the house, refuse fees, and water fees are not eligible for exemption.
This exemption has no means test (it is not based on the applicant’s income or assets).
The Department of Tax Administration (DTA) will review your application and contact you directly if further information is required. Otherwise, you will receive written certification, once your application and exemption has been approved. If your real estate taxes are escrowed by a mortgage lender, you will need to send the lender a copy of the exemption certification and ask them to discontinue this escrow.
Every effort will be made to review and approve qualified applicants as soon as possible. If necessary, the payment deadline can be deferred while the application is under review. Payments made prior to approval of the exemption will result in a refund in accordance with the law.
Lower Vehicle Tax for Qualifying Disabled Veteran
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 Code of Virginia §58.1-3506(A)(19).
Please note, if you are also applying for the real estate exemption described above, you do not need to submit a separate application. Our office will apply the lower Vehicle Tax rate, if you qualify.
You may find more information about this program on the Vehicle Tax Rate page.