If you own a car or other type of motor vehicle, you will likely soon be receiving your personal property tax bill (if you have not received it already). For many folks, they will receive one bill from the treasurer of the county in which they live. Some will also receive a personal property tax bill from the town they live in. In many localities, bills are sent to residents in September or October, and the balances are due by early December. Because there is variation as to when bills are sent and the due dates, be sure to pay attention to your mail and read your bill carefully.
Though you may only receive one bill per year, it is important to think about the bill before it comes in the mail. If you have purchased or sold vehicles, make sure you know when those transfers occurred. Since many localities (but not all) assess taxes based on the number of months you own a given vehicle, you will want to make sure you have that information so you can check your bill for accuracy. If any of the information in the bill is wrong, you will want to address that with your locality. If opening the bill you received left you with sticker shock, going forward you’ll want to consider putting money aside each month so that you have the funds on hand to pay for next year’s personal property taxes.
If you are unable to pay your personal property tax bill by the due date, you may find that you are unable to renew your vehicle registration (the DMV link provides information https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/vehicles/#denials.asp) or that your locality has taken other action to collect, such as taking some or part of any Virginia state refund you may file. Remember that your locality may offer payment options, so be sure to check. While past due personal property tax is often not dischargeable in bankruptcy, bankruptcy may be able to provide a way of managing back due personal property tax debt. Further, if other debt is keeping you from being able to pay, contact Giles & Lambert for a free bankruptcy consultation to see if bankruptcy may help you.