Virginia taxpayers must file by midnight on Monday, July 1 to qualify for the Tax Relief Refund, the result of state legislation passed by the 2019 Virginia General Assembly in response to the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). An individual filer could receive up to $110 and a married couple filing a joint return could receive up to $220. The refund is not to exceed the taxpayer’s liability, and the law requires the checks to be mailed out by Oct. 15, 2019.
The filing deadline was originally set for June 30, but was pushed back a day because the initial deadline fell on a Sunday. Some taxpayers could see their refund reduced if they owe Virginia state taxes for 2018 or any previous tax years, or to Virginia local governments, courts, state agencies or the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
We've been listening to your questions on the deadline. Here are the ones we've been hearing the most:
Why is there a July 1 deadline in order for taxpayers to qualify for the additional 2018 tax refund?
The refunds are funded through the Taxpayer Relief Fund created by the tax reform legislation passed during the 2019 General Assembly. In order to determine whether there is sufficient funding for the refunds, a deadline was necessary to both determine the amount of money available and identify eligible taxpayers. The July deadline was the date put into the statute. This will allow the refunds to be issued between mid-September and mid-October.
Does the Virginia Department of Taxation or Gov. Ralph Northam have the authority to delay the filing deadline?
No. The deadline is in the statute due to the legislation that was passed.
Did the VSCPA do anything to prevent the inclusion of the July 1 deadline?
Yes. The VSCPA advocacy team was aware of the deadline and urged legislative leaders to consider options that would allow taxpayers on extension to still take advantage of the extra refund. However, the July 1 deadline was ultimately included in the final legislation as it was a key component of the overall conformity and reform negotiation and funding process. The VSCPA has submitted a letter to Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne recommending that steps be taken to create parity for taxpayers unable to file by July 1 who would have been eligible for the refund had they been able to file. Any relief will need to be accomplished through legislation early in the 2020 General Assembly.