Business Tax Appeals

Appeal an Assessment

You may appeal the following assessments:

For appeals of real estate taxes, visit our Real Estate Assessments department.

James City County is committed to ensuring its business tax assessments are accurate, fair, and equitable and are compliant with the statutes of the Code of Virginia and the Code of James City County. We support the right of taxpayers to question and appeal an assessment of local business taxes.

Contact Us

Most questions can be resolved with a simple phone call. If you believe a business tax assessment is incorrect, call the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue and speak with someone in the Business Tax Department. They will explain the basis of your assessment or penalty. Some questions may require further research. You may be asked to provide supporting documentation, such as a tax return, or you may be asked to complete and return a questionnaire regarding your specific business model. These actions are taken to provide staff with the additional information they need to determine whether and how an assessment should be corrected. If a clerical error is discovered, it will be corrected.

In accordance with the Code of Virginia, your appeal must be filed within 1 year from the date of the assessment, or within 3 years of the last day of the tax year of the assessment, whichever is later. Older assessments are beyond the statute of limitations and cannot, by law, be adjusted.

Your next step, if you still believe your assessment is incorrect, is to submit a written “Intent to Appeal” to the Commissioner of the Revenue by mail, email or hand delivery. Your Intent to Appeal should provide your business name, tax type and tax period(s) in question. Upon receiving this Intent to Appeal, the office of the Commissioner of the Revenue will ask the Treasurer to suspend collections activity for 30 days, unless the appeal is deemed frivolous or there is reason to believe that eventual collection of the tax may be jeopardized by delay. Note: While collections activity may be suspended, interest will continue to accrue on unpaid balance(s). The decision to suspend collections is made by the Treasurer and is not guaranteed.

The Commissioner of the Revenue will respond by assigning you a case number, and sending you an appeals package that specifies which documents must be included in your appeal (also called “application for review”). Samples of these packages are available below. You have 30 days from the date of your Intent to Appeal to provide your complete appeal, including all specified documents, to the Commissioner of the Revenue. Incomplete appeals packages will be rejected. 

Samples of appeals packages sent by the Commissioner of the Revenue to appeals applicants:

We take taxpayer privacy seriously. We will not discuss your tax assessment or appeal with anyone else–including your spouse, parents, accountant, or lawyer–without a written release. If you want someone to represent you, complete and notarize the “Authorization for Tax Representation” form above and send it to our office.