Sec. 36-126.14. Appeals and rulings.
(a) Any person assessed with a local license tax as the result of an audit may apply within ninety (90) days from the date of the assessment to the commissioner of the revenue for a correction of the assessment. The application must be filed in good faith and sufficiently identify the taxpayer, audit period, remedy sought, each alleged error in the assessment, the grounds upon which the taxpayer relies, and any other facts relevant to the taxpayer's contention. The commissioner of the revenue may hold a conference with the taxpayer, if requested by the taxpayer, or require submission of additional information and documents, a further audit, or other evidence deemed necessary for a proper and equitable determination of the application. The assessment shall be deemed prima facie correct. The commissioner of the revenue shall undertake a full review of the taxpayer's claims and issue a determination to the taxpayer setting forth his position. Every assessment pursuant to an audit shall be accompanied by a written explanation of the taxpayer's right to seek correction and the specific procedure to be followed in the city (e.g. the name and address to which an application should be directed).
(b) Provided a complete application is made within ninety (90) days of an assessment, collection activity shall be suspended until a final determination is issued by the commissioner of the revenue, unless the commissioner determines that collection would be jeopardized by delay or that the taxpayer has not responded to a request for relevant information after a reasonable time. Interest shall accrue in accordance with the provisions of this article, but no further penalty shall be imposed while collection action is suspended. The term "jeopardized by delay" includes a finding that the application is frivolous, or that a taxpayer desires to (i) depart quickly from the locality, (ii) remove his property therefrom, (iii) conceal himself or his property therein, or (iv) do any other act tending to prejudice, or to render wholly or partially ineffectual, proceedings to collect the tax for the period in question.
(c) Any person assessed with a business license tax as a result of an audit may apply within ninety (90) days of the determination by the commissioner of the revenue on an application pursuant to this article to the tax commissioner for a correction of such assessment. The tax commissioner shall issue a determination to the taxpayer within ninety (90) days of receipt of the taxpayer's application, unless the taxpayer and the commissioner of the revenue are notified that a longer period will be required. The application shall be treated as an application pursuant to Virginia Code Section 58.1-1821, or successor section, and the tax commissioner may issue an order correcting such assessment pursuant to Virginia Code Section 58.1-1822, or successor section. Following such an order, either the taxpayer or the commissioner of the revenue may apply to the appropriate circuit court pursuant to Virginia Code Section 58.1- 3984, or successor section. However, the burden shall be on the party making the application to show that the ruling of the tax commissioner is erroneous. Neither the tax commissioner nor the department of taxation shall be made a party to an application to correct an assessment merely because the tax commissioner has ruled on it.
(d) On receipt of a notice of intent to file an appeal to the tax commissioner under Sec. 36-126.14 (c) above, the commissioner of the revenue shall further suspend collection activity until a final determination is issued by the tax commissioner, unless the commissioner of the revenue determines that collection would be jeopardized by delay or that the taxpayer has not responded to a request for relevant information after a reasonable time. Interest shall accrue in accordance with the provisions of this article, but no further penalty shall be imposed while collection action is suspended. The term "jeopardized by delay" shall have the same meaning as set forth in Sec. 36-126.14 (b) above.
(e) Any taxpayer may request a written ruling regarding the application of a local license tax to a specific situation from the commissioner of the revenue. Any person requesting such a ruling must provide all the relevant facts for the situation and may present a rationale for the basis of an interpretation of the law most favorable to the taxpayer. Any misrepresentations or change in the applicable law of the factual situation as presented in the ruling request shall invalidate any such ruling issued. A written ruling may be revoked or amended prospectively if (i) there is any change in the law, a court decision, or the guidelines issued by the department of taxation upon which the ruling was based (ii) the commissioner notifies the taxpayer of a change in the policy or interpretation upon which the ruling was based, or (iii) the original facts are found to be inaccurate or misrepresented. However, any person who acts on a written ruling which later becomes invalid shall be deemed to have acted in good faith during the period in which such ruling was in effect, unless such person intentionally gave inaccurate or misleading information to the commissioner of the revenue.
(f) Every person beginning a business, profession, trade or occupation which is subject to a license tax under the provisions of this article shall be entitled to a gross receipts/purchases reconciliation by the commissioner of the revenue after the fourth (4th) year of business. If the reconciliation results in an over reporting of gross receipts/purchases for the four (4) years of operation, the person would be entitled to a refund thereon for that portion of the license tax already paid, as to ensure that the license privilege tax is assessed only on actual gross receipt/purchases for the preceding four (4) years. (Ord. No. O- 96-319, 12-10-96, eff. 1-1-97)
Last updated date: 10/23/2006 4:15:21 PM