Section 98-5 LIMITATIONS AND EXTENSIONS, APPEALS AND AUDITS.
A. Limitations and Extensions.
1. Where, before the expiration of the time prescribed for the assessment of any license tax imposed pursuant to this ordinance, both the assessing official and the taxpayer have consented in writing to its assessment after such time, the tax may be assessed at any time prior to the expiration of the period agreed upon. The period so agreed upon may be extended by subsequent agreements in writing made before the expiration of the period previously agreed upon.
2. Notwithstanding Virginia Code Section 58.1-3903, the assessing official shall assess the local license tax omitted because of fraud or failure to apply for a license for the current license year and the six preceding license years.
3. The period for collecting any local license tax shall not expire prior to the period specified in Virginia Code Section 58.1-3940, two years after the date of assessment if the period for assessment has been extended pursuant to this subdivision of the ordinance, two years after the final determination of an appeal for which collection has been stayed pursuant to subdivision B.2. or B.4. of Section 98-5 of this ordinance, or two years after the final decision in a court application pursuant to Virginia Code Section 58.1-3984 or similar law for which collection has been stayed, whichever is later.
B. Appeals and rulings.
1. Any person assessed with a local license tax as a result of an audit may apply within ninety days from the date of such assessment to the assessor 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 assessor 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 assessor shall undertake a full review of the taxpayer's claims and issue a determination to the taxpayer setting forth its 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 (e.g., the name and address to which an application should be directed).
2. Provided a timely and complete application is made, collection activity shall be suspended until a final determination is issued by the assessor, unless the assessor 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 subdivision E. of Section 98-3.5, 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.
3. Any person assessed with a license tax, pursuant to this Chapter, as a result of an audit may apply within ninety days of the determination by the assessing official on an application pursuant to subdivision B.1. of Section 98-5, to the Virginia Tax Commissioner for a correction of such assessment. The Virginia Tax Commissioner shall issue a determination to the taxpayer within ninety days of receipt of the taxpayer's application, unless the taxpayer and the assessing official 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, and the Virginia Tax Commissioner may issue an order correcting such assessment pursuant to Virginia Code Section 58.1-1822. Following such an order, either the taxpayer or the assessing official may apply to the appropriate circuit court pursuant to Virginia Code Section 58.1-3984. However, the burden shall be on the party making the application to show that the ruling of the Virginia Tax Commissioner is erroneous. Neither the Virginia Tax Commissioner nor the Virginia Department of Taxation shall be made a party to an application to correct an assessment merely because the Virginia Tax Commissioner has ruled on it.
4. On receipt of a notice of intent to file an appeal to the Virginia Tax Commissioner under subdivision B.) 3.) of Section 98-5, the assessing official shall further suspend collection activity until a final determination is issued by the Virginia Tax Commissioner, unless the assessor 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 subdivision E. of Section 98-3.5, 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 subdivision B. 2. of Section 98-5 above.
5. Any taxpayer may request a written ruling regarding the application of a license tax to a specific situation from the assessor. 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 misrepresentation or change in the applicable law or 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 a change in the law, a court decision, or the guidelines issued by the Virginia Department of Taxation upon which the ruling was based or (ii) the assessor notifies the taxpayer of a change in the policy or interpretation upon which the ruling was based. 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.
(Ord. No. 9-85 Amended (former “Levy of License Taxes”) 9-30-85-Effective 7-1-86)
(Ord. No. 2-96 Amended Entire Section 2-12-96-Effective Upon Passage)
(Ord. No. 13-96 Amended Entire Section 12-16-96-Effective Upon Passage)