Q: I'm a SWaM business. How can I do business with the City of Alexandria?
A: The City of Alexandria actively seeks to purchase goods and services from Small, Women, and Minority (SWaM) owned businesses as part of our competitive purchasing process to support City operations. To do business with the City as a SWaM vendor, please first register with the state at www.sbsd.virginia.gov, and then register with the City using your state SWaM certification number at https://service.alexandriava.gov/MSS/Vendors/default.aspx
Q: What happens after I register as a SWaM business?
A: Once you register on the Vendor Self-Service portal in the City's Purchasing Division you will be automatically notified of opportunities to do business with the City.
Q: Who do I contact if I have SWaM questions or need assistance?
A: Please contact the Finance Department's Purchasing Division at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703.746.4946. More information is also available at www.alexandriava.gov/Purchasing
Q: How do I apply for SWaM certification with the State of Virginia?
A: Please contact the state's Small Business & Supplier Diversity Office. You can email them at email@example.com, or call them at 804.786.6585. SWaM applications can be filed online at www.sbsd.virginia.gov/certification-division/swam/ They are located at 101 N. 14th Street, 11th Floor, Richmond VA 23219. They are open Mon-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Remember to also register with the City's Purchasing Division once you obtain your state certification.
Q: Does the City have any resources to help me with my Workforce needs?
A: Yes! The City of Alexandria Workforce Development Center (WDC) brings together job seekers who desire employment and businesses that need reliable employees. WDC helps prepare individuals through education and training and refers qualified candidates to prospecitive businesses. Visit, www.wdc.alexandriava.gov or call 703.746.5990
Q: Can I post job openings online with the Workforce Development Center?
A: Yes! You can post a job with the WDC. As a registered employer, you can also search resumes we post online. Contact the WDC to register now. Registration is FREE!
Q: Where is the Workforce Development Center located?
A: The WDC is located at 1900 N. Beauregard Street, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22311. The phone number is 703.746.5990. You can also email the WDC at www.wdc.alexandriava.gov/Employment/ContactUsOnline.aspx If you have additional questions, please contact Daniel Mekibib, Director, Workforce Development Center, Department of Community & Human Services, at Daniel.Mekibib@alexandriava.gov
Q: Can I file and pay my BPOL renewal online?
A: Yes! Starting with tax year 2020, we have enhanced our Business Tax Portal so you can now file and pay your BPOL renewal returns online! We hope this is helpful and we look foward to your input on this new feature.
Q: What if my license category is "Contractor?"
A: Contractors can still file and pay their BPOL online using the Portal. However, as required by state law, contractors must also upload their Contractor's Certificate of Workers' Compensation Insurance. Contractor renewals are incomplete without this form.
Q: Can I file BPOL online if I am a multi-state business and intend to claim deductions for gross receipts allocated to other jurisdictions?
A: Yes, however you must also upload to the secure Portal supporting income tax documentation (refer to business license instructions). Deduction claims will not be granted and renewals are not complete without this information.
Q: What's new in 2020?
A: Beginning with tax year 2020, you can now file and pay your BPOL renewal returns online using the Portal! Thank you for your patience while this has been under development.
Q: How do I provide feedback on the portal?
A: Simply email Businesstax@alexandriava.gov. The Business Tax Portal is intended to better serve our business community by giving you more direct access to your data, and the ability to conduct your business with the Department of Finance online. Please feel free to share your questions, comments, and suggestions. We’ll use your feedback to help make future enhancements as possible. We’ll also use your feedback to create additional FAQ’s. Thank you for doing business in the City!
Q: Do I have to use the portal?
A: No, our office will continue to accept paper returns and payments the same as always, but we hope you find the portal a convenient alternative.
Q: Is my information secure?
A: Yes. Your confidential information is behind the City’s firewall, and requires entering private information unique to your business, such as FEIN and account number. To help provide even better security, we provided you with the unique 10-digit PIN for linking your accounts. Use of the PIN is a one-time event. Once your accounts have been linked, you can simply access the site by the user ID and password you established.
Q: Why don’t I see my account?
A: For confidentiality purposes, business accounts are automatically linked by a common FEIN or Social Security number. If you have multiple businesses with different FEIN’s, you are not able to link these in the portal.
Q: Can I establish a different user/password for each FEIN?
A: Yes. Each business in the City with a unique FEIN will receive a separate PIN letter. Using the PIN, with a different email address and your account specific information, you can establish an additional portal access to those accounts.
Q: Can anyone else access my information?
A: Another person, such as a partner, accountant or tax manager, can access your account if you grant access to that person’s email from your account. This can be done from “Settings” on the top bar, and “Manage Access.” The person to whom you're granting access must first establish their own MyAlex account, using their own email. They can establish their own MyAlex account at alexandriava.gov/BusinessTax and click on the Business Tax Portal button.
Q: Can I make a payment through the portal?
A: Yes, just click “Make a Payment.” You can determine the amount you want to pay in the “Payment Amount” box. Choose your payment method and the portal will take you to our secure payment processor.
Q: Do I have to log into the portal to make a payment?
A: No, you can also pay your accounts directly by visiting alexandriava.gov/Payments.
Q: What are Business Personal Property Taxes?
A: Any individual, partnership, or corporation engaged in any business/profession or leasing equipment in the City of Alexandria as of January 1 must file a Business Personal Property Tax Return with the Finance Department. Returns can be filed online using the Business Tax Portal. The Business Personal Property Tax is based on the original purchase cost of all tangible business personal property (including furniture, fixtures, machinery and tools, and computers and peripherals) used in any business or profession. All tangible property located in the business as of January 1 of the current tax year must be reported on the annual return. Fiscal year businesses must include all property purchased in the calendar year even though the equipment will not be reflected on the federal depreciation schedule. The annual assessment for business tangible personal property is calculated based on a percentage of the original cost on the equipment description, the year of purchase (acquisition year) and the assigned schedule (the depreciation schedule is shown on the tax form) or input screen.
Q: What if my business does not have Personal Property to report?
A: If the business did not have any business tangible personal property located in the City as of January 1 of the current tax year, the business is still required to submit an annual return that indicates that the business has no equipment and provide an explanation as to how it operates without any Business Personal Property. If, for example, the business leases property from another entity, the leased property should still be reported on the annual return. All leased equipment should be identified with the owner’s name, address, equipment description, lease number, lease begin date, and cost of the equipment or rental amount.
Q: Can you give me some examples of Business Personal Property to Report?
A: Furniture and fixtures includes standard office furniture such as desks, chairs, hutches, file cabinets, bookcases; copiers/digital copiers; projectors; fax machine; telephone systems; polycom sound stations; digital cameras; signage; canopies; standard cash registers; restaurant equipment; hotel equipment; kitchen equipment; automobile equipment and tools; mailing machines; and most medical equipment. Computers and peripheral equipment includes property such as desktop computers; laptops; docking stations; printers, scanners, plotters; hub, switches, router, modem, and UPS; mobile devices like PDA’s and iPhones; POS registers. Unlicensed vehicles includes property such as bulldozers, cranes, trailers, tractors, forklifts, graders, hydraulic lifts, loaders, and snow plows. For machinery and tools used in manufacturing, the business must first be classified as a manufacturer for business license purposes. In order for the City to accurately classify all assets and ensure proper taxation, you must provide a detailed description of each piece of equipment.
Q: What is a “fixed asset” listing and do I need to include one?
A: Yes, please upload your fixed asset listing. This is an itemized listing of all tangible personal property showing the date of acquisition, description, date of disposal, and original cost on the book basis. All personal property must be substantiated through the following documentation: Assets or Equipment Journal, Federal Form 4562, or Federal Schedule L of Form 1120. If you have no property to report, please report this fact and upload a letter explaining how the business operates without business personal property. In order for the City to dispose of prior year assets, you must provide sufficient documentation. (i.e. Federal form 4562 or 4797, sales receipts, etc.). If you have questions, please contact the Revenue Division at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What if I cease business during the tax year?
A: Business Personal Property must be reported for taxation if located in the City as of January 1 of the current year. Under Virginia law, this tax is not prorated. If a business moves out of the City or ceases business after January 1 of the current year, the business is still liable for the full tax year, due and payable on October 5.
Q: When are Business Personal Property tax returns due?
A: Returns must be filed each year with the Revenue Division of the Department of Finance by May 1. Taxes assessed based on these returns will be billed in the summer, with payment due by October 5. Failure to file a return will result in a statutory assessment to include late filing penalties as authorized by the Code of Virginia.
Q: Can I Report a Change of Address?
A: Yes, using this button under Services, you can change your mailing address for any or all of your linked accounts.
Q: Does this change the address of my business location?
A: No, this only changes your mailing address for bill and notification purposes. If you need to change your business location, please email Businesstax@alexandriava.gov.
Q: Can I use the portal to report my business is closing?
A: No, please email the Revenue Division of the Department of Finance at Businesstax@alexandriava.gov.
Q: What does the “View” button do?
A: “View” allows you to drill down to account specific information.
Q: What does it mean to “Get Current Statement” under “Services?”
A: “Statement” is simply a copy of the current tax bill.
Q: What does “Return Expected” mean?
A: It means that it’s time to file your monthly Meals tax, Transient Lodging, or Admissions tax return and payment. Simply click this link and you can file your return and make your payment online. Using the portal, you no longer need to send in paper returns. Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) tax returns are also "expected" to be filed by March 1 each year.
Q: Can I file my Business Personal Property return online?
A: Yes! Use the portal to file online, and upload a copy of your fixed asset listing. Remember, this is due by May 1.
Q: I can see my BPOL account, but will I be able to file my gross receipts online?
A: Yes! Beginning with tax year 2020, you can now file your BPOL renewal forms online!
Q: What does the “Correspondence” button show?
A: This shows any correspondence that has been generated by the City’s computer system (such as tax bills, and renewal forms).
Q: What does it mean to “Enroll in eBilling?”
A: Right now, this is most applicable to Business Personal Property taxes, due October 5. If you enroll in eBilling, the portal will send you an email when your upcoming tax bill (“statement”) is available online. If you don’t login into the portal and access your bill within 30 days of the due date, the system will automatically mail you the bill.
Q: Can I enroll in eBilling for Meals tax, Transient Lodging, and Admissions taxes?
A: This is not applicable to these taxes because you are required to file and pay monthly returns. The payment is dependent on the return you file through the portal. However, you can now use the portal to complete the filing and payment online! The same is true for the Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL) tax, because that too is required to be filed and paid at the same time (renewals March 1st). However, starting with tax year 2020, you can now file and pay BPOL online using the Portal!
Q: What is “Send Bill Notifications?”
A: This is simply an email reminder that your tax bill is coming due. This reminder is in addition to the paper bill mailed by our office. Again, this is most applicable to Business Personal Property taxes.
Q: Can I use “Send Bill Notifications” for Meals tax, Transient Lodging, and Admissions taxes?
A: We recommend you wait on this for now. The system is configured to provide a reminder 30 -days prior to the due date— not very practical for our monthly trustee taxes. We’re working with our system partner to shorten this timeline for trustee taxes to a week before the due date.
Q: What does “Send Return Notifications” mean?
A: This is just an email reminder that your tax returns are due to be filed (such as Business Personal Property, or BPOL returns). Again, until we shorten the window for trustee taxes, you may want to wait until the next upgrade for those taxes.
Q: What does “Send Payment Notifications” mean?
A: If you select this, the portal will send you a confirmation email anytime a payment is posted to your business account (whether paid through the portal, mail, by phone, online or in-person).
Q: How do I opt-out from receiving an annual Return Booklet for fiduciary* taxes by mail?
A: Please notify our office by sending an email to BusinessTax@AlexandriaVA.gov, include the business name and account number(s) that you wish to exclude from receiving the returns by mail. *Applicable to meals, transient lodging, short-term rental and admissions taxes.
Q: How can I contact the Finance Department?
A: For questions about the portal, your assessment or business account, the best option is to email Businesstax@alexandriava.gov. If you have questions about your tax payments, you can email Payments@alexandriava.gov. The Business Section of the Revenue Division can also be reached at 703.746.3903 (Fax, 703.548.6065). The Treasury Division, concerning payments, can be reached at 703.746.3902. The Revenue and Treasury Divisions of the Department of Finance are located on the ground floor of City Hall, at 301 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Information about taxes and payment options can be found online at: alexandriava.gov/Revenue and alexandriava.gov/Treasury