In general, an employer who pays wages to one or more employees in Virginia is required to deduct and withhold state income tax from those wages. Since Virginia law substantially conforms to federal law, if federal law requires an employer to withhold tax from any payment, we also require Virginia withholding.
Find more details about registering as an employer, filing requirements, and payment options below.
As an employer required to file withholding returns, you must register for withholding tax, file income tax withholding returns, and pay the income tax to Virginia Tax.
Employers must file withholding returns whether or not there is withholding tax owed. The Commonwealth deems the amounts withheld as payment in trust for the employees' tax liabilities.
- If your withholding liability is less than $100 per month, your withholding returns and tax payments are due quarterly.
- If your withholding liability is more than $100 but less than $1,000, your withholding returns and tax payments are due monthly.
- If your withholding liability is $1,000 or more, your withholding returns and tax payments are due semi-weekly.
See below for details for each filing frequency.
If your average tax liability is less than $100 per month, you will be assigned a quarterly filing status. Quarterly returns and payments are due on the last day of the month following the close of each quarter, as shown below. File your returns on Form VA-5 using eForms (VA-5 Quarterly eForm), your Business Account or Web Upload.
|FOR THE QUARTER ENDING...||FILE YOUR RETURN AND PAYMENT BY...|
|March 31||April 30|
|June 30||July 31|
|September 30||October 31|
|December 31||January 31|
Quarterly filers must also file Form VA-6, Employer's Annual Summary of Virginia Income Tax Withheld. The VA-6 is due to Virginia Tax by Jan. 31 of the following calendar year, or within 30 days of the final payment of wages by your company. When you file Form VA-6, you must submit each federal Form W-2, W-2G, 1099, or 1099-R that shows Virginia income tax withheld. You must submit Form VA-6 and all W-2 and 1099 forms electronically.
If your average tax liability is more than $100, but less than $1,000 per month, you will be assigned a monthly filing status. You must file your returns on Form VA-5 using our free online filing services: eForms, Business Account or Web Upload. The VA-5 is due on the 25th of each month (for example, the return for January is due February 25).
Monthly filers must also file Form VA-6, Employer's Annual Summary of Virginia Income Tax Withheld. The VA-6 is due to Virginia Tax by Jan. 31 of the following calendar year, or within 30 days after the last payment of wages by your company. When you file Form VA-6, you must submit each federal Form W-2, W-2G, 1099, or 1099-R that shows Virginia income tax withheld. You must submit Form VA-6 and all W-2 and 1099 forms electronically.
If your average tax liability is more than $1,000 per month, you will be assigned a semi-weekly filing status. Your payments will be due within 3 banking days if the amount of Virginia income tax withheld exceeds $500 on any federal cutoff date for semi-weekly withholding. Federal cutoff dates are generally on Tuesday and Friday of each week, as shown in the table below. You must submit your payments electronically using Form VA-15.
|IF YOUR LIABILITY EXCEEDS $500 FOR A PAYDAY THAT FALLS ON...||MAKE YOUR SEMI-WEEKLY PAYMENT NO LATER THAN THE FOLLOWING...|
|Wednesday, Thursday or Friday||Wednesday|
|Saturday, Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday||Friday|
Semi-weekly filers must file Form VA-16, Employer's Payments Quarterly Reconciliation and Return of Virginia Income Tax Withheld, for each quarter. The VA-16 must be filed electronically and is due by the end of the month following the close of the quarter:
|FOR THE QUARTER ENDING...||FILE YOUR RETURN AND PAYMENT BY...|
|March 31||April 30|
|June 30||July 31|
|September 30||October 31|
|December 31||January 31|
Certain employers may request a waiver from the Virginia semi-weekly filing requirement. To request this waiver, the employer must have no more than 5 employees subject to Virginia income tax withholding. See Tax Bulletin 15-3 for more information.
Semi-weekly filers must also file Form VA-6, Employer's Annual Summary of Virginia Income Tax Withheld. The VA-6 is due to Virginia Tax by Jan. 31 of the following calendar year, or within 30 days after the last payment of wages by your company. When you file Form VA-6, you must submit each federal Form W-2, W-2G, 1099, or 1099-R that shows Virginia income tax withheld. You must submit Form VA-6 and all W-2 and 1099 forms electronically.
Annual Filing Option for Household Employers (Nanny Tax)
Employers of household service employees may elect to file and pay the Virginia income tax withheld from their employees' salaries on an annual basis, at the same time they submit the employees' Forms W-2 for the year. In order to qualify for the annual filing, the employment must consist exclusively of domestic service in the private home of the employer as defined in the Federal Employment Tax Regulations. Employers may register for this filing option online, or by using Form R-1H. See Household Employer (Nanny Tax) for more information.
Employer's Annual or Final Summary of Virginia Income Tax Withheld
All filers must file Form VA-6, Employer's Annual Summary of Virginia Income Tax Withheld or Form VA-6H, Household Employer's Annual Summary of Virginia Income Tax Withheld. The VA-6 and VA-6H are due to Virginia Tax by Jan. 31 of the following calendar year, or within 30 days after the final payment of wages by your company. You may file your VA-6 or VA-6H using eForms, Web Upload, or your Business Account.
When you file Form VA-6, you must submit each federal Form W-2, W-2G, 1099, or 1099-R that shows Virginia income tax withheld. You must submit these forms electronically using eForms or Web Upload.
Every withholding tax filer is required to file all withholding tax returns and payments electronically. Employers can meet these electronic filing and paying requirements without purchasing tax filing software. We offer several online services at no cost:
- eForms allows you to file and pay tax returns using your bank account information. No separate signup is required. eForms also allows you to save your information and reuse it with each filing.
- Your business online services account allows you to file returns and make payments using your banking information, schedule payments up to the due date, view your return filing history, make updates to your business and contact information, and manage other account activities all in one place.
- Web Upload is a file-based system that's best if you're submitting more than a few documents and payments at once. The system accepts withholding tax data files such as spreadsheets or text files created using payroll software.
You can also pay using ACH Credit (initiating payments from your bank account to Virginia Tax's bank account). For more information about initiating ACH creditand set up with financial institutions, see our Electronic Payment Guide.
Note: You do not need to file W2s or 1099s with us if there is no Virginia withholding and the income is not taxable in Virginia. See W-2 and 1099 Filing Guidelines for more information.
W-2 and 1099 Filing Guidelines
You are required to file W-2 and 1099 statements with Virginia Tax when those statements reflect Virginia income tax withheld, or the recipient worked or lived in Virginia for any part of the year.
- W-2s and 1099s are due Jan. 31
- W-2s and 1099s must be submitted electronically
Important: Failure to file your withholding information by the due date may cause significant delays in processing a number of your employees' and retirees' tax returns as we will need to verify their identity and return information.
Your Annual or Final Withholding Summary (Form VA-6 / Form VA-6H) is separate from W-2 and 1099 data. You are required to send both by Jan. 31. You can file your VA-6 using your regular filing method (Web Upload, your Business Account, or eForms).
How to file W-2s and 1099s
We offer 2 free and secure options to submit W-2, 1099-R, and 1099-MISC data:
- Web Upload - file-based system, multiple file types accepted, often created using payroll software
- eForms - fillable electronic forms, no files or signup required, best for companies (or household employers) with a small number of employees or payees
Each method requires authentication as described in the guides below. PDFs, image files, and magnetic media (CDs/diskettes) are not accepted.
If electronic filing causes undue hardship
You may request a temporary waiver by submitting a W-2/1099 Electronic Filing Waiver Request Form, citing your specific hardship. All waivers are temporary and must be renewed annually.
Household Employer Withholding Tax (Nanny Tax)
Employers of certain household employees have the option of reporting and paying the Virginia income tax withheld from those employees on an annual basis. For the employer to qualify, the employment must consist exclusively of domestic service in the private home of the employer, as defined in the Federal Employment Tax Regulations.
The annual filing provision is a filing option for qualified employers. It does not establish a new requirement for withholding. Unlike the federal "nanny tax," the Virginia household employer's withholding tax is filed on a separate return, and is not included in the employer's personal income tax filing. If you choose to register for this annual filing option, you will be required to file Form VA-6H, the Virginia Household Employer's Annual Summary of Income Tax Withheld, by Jan. 31 each year to report and pay the Virginia income tax withheld for the preceding calendar year. You must file Form VA-6H online, either through your online services account or through eForms.
Basic Instructions for Household Employers
Before you begin, make sure you are liable to withhold Virginia income tax from the wages of your household employee(s). If the wages are not subject to federal withholding, they are not subject to Virginia withholding.
Complete instructions for withholding Virginia income tax from wages, salaries, and other payments are contained in the Virginia Employer Withholding Instructions. Information on corresponding federal requirements is available from the IRS, and unemployment tax information, including an annual filing option, is provided by the Virginia Employment Commission.
To register for a household employer's withholding tax account, complete Form R-1H, or register online. If you are already filing for a domestic employee under a regular quarterly or monthly withholding tax account, be sure to close that account when you register for your new household employer's account, and request that any payments made for the current year be transferred to the new account. For assistance, contact us at 804.367.8037.
Once you register for a household employer's withholding tax account, you must file a Form VA-6H for each year that you keep the account open, even if you have no tax to report. Failure to file could result in penalties of up to 30% of the tax due.
How to File and Pay
Form VA-6H must be filed by Jan. 31 each year, with copies of each W-2 issued to a household employee during the previous calendar year and payment for the tax due.
To file W-2 information and pay the tax due, file Form VA-6H through your online services account.
If you don't have an account, you can file using eForms:
- VA-6H/ W-2 combined eForm (for household employers who employ up to 10 household employees - see the VA-6H/ W-2 eForm Instructions for more information)
- VA-6H eForm
- W-2 eForm
To compute the withholding tax, use the Virginia Employer Withholding Tables.
Frequently Asked Questions
Qualified Employers and Employees
What is a household employer? What does it mean to have household employer status?
A household employer is an individual who employs 1 or more people solely for the purpose of domestic service in the home of the employer. For Virginia purposes, "household employer status" means that you meet this requirement and have registered for a Virginia household employer's withholding tax account. This registration allows you to file your withholding tax on an annual basis, rather than using the quarterly or monthly filing status required for most other employers.
How do I know if an employee qualifies as a household employee?
The employee must be classified as an employee performing domestic service under federal definitions. This category includes employees such as nannies, babysitters, housekeepers, gardeners, elder-care workers, in-home nursing care providers, and others who provide domestic services. For details, refer to the Federal Employment Tax Regulations, which are available at www.irs.gov.
If I have a household employee and other business employees, can I include tax for all of them on my annual Virginia Household Employer's return?
No. You must report information on non-household employees under a separate withholding tax account for your business.
I have a small business that I run from my home with only 1 or 2 employees. Can I sign up for household employer status?
No. The household employer annual filing option is available only to employers whose employees provide domestic service in the home. You should register for an employer withholding tax account to report the taxes for your business employees.
Who Should Register
Federal law allows me to file my "nanny tax" on an annual basis, and I would like to do that for Virginia. Should I register for a household employer's withholding account?
As long as you meet the federal requirements, you may register as a household employer for Virginia purposes. Keep in mind, however, that the reporting and payment is done on a separate return, Form VA-6H.
I just hired a nanny. Do I have to register for a household employer's withholding tax account?
Not necessarily. As described under Basic Instructions for Household Employers, you need to determine whether you are required to withhold Virginia income tax from your employee's wages. If withholding is required, you may register for a household employer's account, which allows you to file annually, or you may register for an employer withholding tax account, which will require quarterly filing.
I have a gardener who has always handled his own taxes, because the wage amounts are too low for withholding to be required. Do I need to sign up for a household employer's account?
No. You don't need to register for an account unless you are actually required to withhold Virginia income tax from your employee's wages.
I already file withholding taxes for my household employees on a quarterly basis, and I prefer to keep my books that way. Am I required to register for a household employer's account?
No. The household employer status offers an annual filing option for qualifying employers. You may continue to file on a quarterly basis under your existing account.
Filing and Payment
How do I file and pay the tax due for my household employees?
When are the return and payment due?
Form VA-6H must be filed online by Jan. 31 of each year, along with payment for the tax due and copies of any W-2s issued to your household employees for the preceding year.
Can I report and pay the tax due with my individual income tax return?
No. You must make a separate filing on Form VA-6-H by Jan. 31.
I registered for a household employer withholding tax account, but I didn't have any employees this year. Do I still need to file a return?
Yes. You will still need to file your annual return, Form VA-6H, by Jan. 31. If you don't anticipate hiring household employees in the future, you should request that your account be closed. Otherwise, you will need to file annual returns as long as the account remains open.
What should I do if I stop having employees during the year?
You will still need to file your annual return, Form VA-6H, by Jan. 31 of the following year, along with copies of the W-2s issued to your employees. If you don't anticipate hiring household employees in the future, you should request that your account be closed. Otherwise, you will need to file annual returns as long as the account remains open.
What will happen if I file Form VA-6H or pay the tax due after Jan. 31?
Late filing or late payment of the tax may result in the assessment of penalties and interest. The minimum penalty is $10, and the maximum penalty is 30% of the tax due. Interest accrues on the tax due until the tax is paid.
Can payroll service providers file the annual returns (Form VA-6H) for household employers?
Yes. The service providers need to be sure to reference the proper account number, particularly the suffix. Although many accounts will carry a suffix of F001, this will not always be the case. For example, if you have accounts for both business and household employees, or if you switched to the annual filing status from a previously existing quarterly account, your household employer account may carry a suffix of F002, F003, etc. It is important to use the correct suffix to make sure that payments are applied correctly. To avoid errors, check both the name and the account number of the return being submitted. For faster processing, the provider may wish to use our Web Upload service.