Personal Property Tax Payment and penalty
Payment of the Personal Property Tax is due each year by October 5. If payment is late, a 10% late payment penalty is assessed on the unpaid original
tax balance. An interest at a rate of 10% per annum is also added to any unpaid
balance beginning the first day of the month following the original due
Managing your Personal Property
How you manage your personal property depends on the tax account number printed on your tax bill.
Accounts that start with the number One "1" should use the link to tax.pwcgov.org.
Accounts that start with the number Nine "9" should use the link to eCheck.
It is possible to have two different account numbers for the same vehicle – Don't Worry, payment will be applied to your account using either account number.
Why are there two account numbers? The County is changing how we manage tax records. During the transition period, each tax account has been assigned two account numbers. This is a temporary situation and in the future there will only be one account number.
If you need help finding your account number please contact Taxpayer Services at 703-792-6710 or email TaxpayerServices@pwcgov.org.
We can help you:
- Make a payment
- Report vehicle status - sold, purchased, disposed, or transferred
- Report that you have moved
- Register vehicles with the County
- Get your personal property tax balance and payment history
What is A Personal Property Tax?
Personal Property Tax (also known as a car tax) is a tax on tangible property - i.e., property that can be touched and moved, such as a car or piece of equipment. It is an ad valorem tax, meaning the tax amount is set according to the value of the property. A higher-valued property pays more tax than a lower-valued property.
Although jurisdictions throughout Virginia levy a personal property tax, many U.S. states do not; as a result, some County residents may not be aware that a tax on personal property exists.
Revenue collected from the personal property tax is used to fund services like police and fire protection and other services such as parks, libraries, and education.
Items Subject to the Personal Property Tax
In Prince William County, a personal property tax is assessed annually (as of January 1) on automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, trailers, and mobile homes. Business are also assessed a business tangible property tax on items such as furniture and fixtures, computers, and construction equipment.
All other property; including: personal effects, household items, monies, securities, and livestock are not subject to the personal property tax.
The County maintains registration information on boats, personal watercraft, outboard motor watercraft, and boat trailers; although, the tax on these items was eliminated beginning in 1998.
Prorated Personal Property Tax
Vehicles that are moved into or out of the County after January 1 are prorated based on the number of months that the vehicle is/was located in the County.
Exceptions to the prorating standard:
- Vehicle is moved out to a non-prorating Virginia jurisdiction; then the tax is not prorated.
- Vehicle is moved in from a non-prorating Virginia jurisdiction; then the vehicle is taxable in the prior jurisdiction for the entire year.
- Vehicle is moved out of Virginia and is registered with the state where it is moved to.
* MOVING A VEHICLE OUT OF VIRGINIA. You must register the vehicle with the state where the vehicle is moved to. Failure to register will result in continued personal property tax liability with Prince William County. The Virginia Code Section 58.1-3511 - "the situs (meaning tax liability) for vehicles...registered in Virginia, but normally garaged, docked, or parked in another state shall be the locality in Virginia where registered."
Local Vehicle License Fee
A local license fee is imposed on vehicles normally garaged, stored, or parked in the County. The license fee is collected as general revenue which is budgeted and appropriated by the Board of County Supervisors. The County license fee does not apply to town residents or to vehicles garaged at Marine Corps Base Quantico. Residents of the towns should register their vehicles with both Prince William County and their respective town clerk or tax office.
Payment Due Date
Personal property tax bills are mailed late summer with payment due October 5 (unless this date falls on a weekend or holiday then the due date is moved to the next business day). A prorated tax bill is applied to vehicles that move into the County after June 30.
Virginia law requires localities to use a nationally recognized pricing guide as the basis for the assessment of vehicles. Prince William County contracts with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), as approximately 95% of all vehicles in the County can be assessed using the NADA car value guide. The values used by NADA are based on actual transactions and wholesale auctions of vehicles throughout the area for which the guide is published. Most Virginia jurisdictions use NADA to assess vehicles.
Vehicles are assessed using the January NADA clean trade-in value for automobiles, trucks, and vans. Newer vehicles not listed in the January NADA guide are assessed at 90% or 95% of the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) depending on model year.
Annual Asset Statement
In the spring of each year, owners of personal property will receive an asset summary statement. Any errors or omissions found in the statement should be reported to the County. If the statement is correct no action is needed.
Appealing a Vehicle Assessment for High Mileage
To appeal an assessment, send a copy of your last oil change invoice or your state inspection receipt along with a copy of your state registration to Prince William County, P.O. Box 2467, Prince William, Virginia 22195-2467. Write "Hi-mileage" in the lower left corner of the envelope. Please do not send this information along with a payment or send it in the envelope that was provided with the tax bill.
High mileage adjustments take time to process. You must pay your personal property tax in full by the due date and be refunded the difference. The deduction for high mileage can not exceed 40% of the trade-in value for that model year.
Minimum Mileage for High Mileage Adjustments
To qualify, vehicle mileage as of January 1, 2017, must be:
2017 model year vehicle - 10,001 miles or more
2016 model year vehicle - 20,001 miles or more
2015 model year vehicle - 35,001 miles or more
2014 model year vehicle - 45,001 miles or more
2013 model year vehicle - 60,001 miles or more
2012 model year vehicle - 70,001 miles or more
2011 model year vehicle - 85,001 miles or more
2010 model year vehicle - 95,001 miles or more
2009 model year vehicle - 105,001 miles or more
2008model year vehicle - 120,001 miles or more
2007 model year vehicle - 130,001 miles or more
2006 model year vehicle - 140,001 miles or more
2005 model year vehicle - 150,001 miles or more
2004 model year vehicle - 155,001 miles or more
2003 & older model year vehicles - 165,001 miles or more
Appealing a Vehicle Assessment for Condition
The Code of Va. Section 58.1-3503 requires all localities to use a recognized pricing guide to value vehicles. The use of individual sales or trade-in offers as the basis for a vehicle's assessment is not permitted under state law. The Code of Va. 58.1-3515 requires localities to value property as of January 1.
An appeal can be filed if the condition of the vehicle is such that it has major structural/mechanical damage as of January 1. If you believe your assessment is in error due to the condition of the vehicle, you can file an appeal using the Appeal of Vehicle Assessment Form.
State Tax Relief (Car Tax)
Moving a Vehicle
Moving a vehicle to Prince William County from another
please report your change of address to the
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
804-497-7100 and then call the County at 703-792-6710. Contact the County within 60 days of moving to avoid being assessed a late filing penalty. You should inform the County of your move even if current license fees are paid and the vehicle has a valid decal.
Moving a vehicle into Prince William County from another state, please register your change of address with the
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
804-497-7100 then call the County at 703-792-6710. Contact the County within 60 days of moving to avoid assessment of a late filing penalty.
Moving a vehicle out of Prince William County. You must register the vehicle with the state and or municipality where the vehicle is moved to. Failure to update the registration will result in continued personal property tax liability with Prince William County. It is recommended that the move be reported to both the County and to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Taxpayer Services at 703-792-6710 or email to TaxpayerServices@pwcgov.org