Penalties and Payment Plans
Real Estate and Personal Property Taxes
The treasurer, after the due date of any tax or other charge shall proceed to collect by distress or otherwise (Code of Virginia §58.1-3919)
Late Payment Penalty
A 10% late payment penalty is applied the day following the tax due date. This fee is mandated by the Code of Virginia §58.1-3916 and Stafford County municipal code Chapter 23, section 23-3, 23-3.1, and 23-4.
10% annual interest accrues monthly on the 1st of the month, following the due date.
An administrative fee may be applied 30 days from the first notification of delinquency as outlined in the Code of Virginia §58.1-3958.
Are Payment Plans an option?
Please contact the Treasurer's Office at 540.658.8700 to discuss your options.
You always have the option to make partial payments toward your balance as a promise to pay, however your account will remain subject to collections any time there is a delinquent balance due.
What is a DMV Stop?
The Treasurer may prevent the issuance, re-issuance, or renewal of vehicle registrations (license plate decals) for all vehicles you own or co-own if you owe delinquent taxes or fees, as authorized by the Code of Virginia § 46.2-752(J) . The DMV Stop follows the tax payers social security number, so if you own a car with another person, you may be subject to their DMV Stop if their taxes remain unpaid. Your account will incur a $50 fee, $25 of which is charged by DMV for removing the stop once taxes are paid. For more information about the denial of DMV vehicle registrations or renewals, visit the DMV website.
How do I get my DMV Stop removed?
All delinquent debts must be satisfied to remove the DMV Stop attached to the owner or co-owner.
Visit the Invoice Cloud Customer Portal
You may use a credit card or eCheck to pay online once a DMV Stop has been placed. After an online payment is made, the DMV Stop will be released in 2-3 business days.
Pay in Person
Payments must be made by certified funds (cash, money order, cashier's check, or debit/credit card).
What if I am unable to pay the entire delinquent debt?
DMV offers a one-month registration renewal for $10. The one-month extension must be requested in person at a DMV customer service center or a DMV select location, and your vehicle registration must be valid and due to expire within the current calendar month.
What is a Treasurer Lien?
A Treasurer Lien is used to collect delinquent personal property and real estate taxes and other fees, pursuant to the Code of Virginia § 58.1-3952. The Treasurer Lien is not subject to the traditional garnishment caps of 25%. A Treasurer Lien is for 100% of funds available to satisfy the tax debt.
Wage Liens Process
- The taxpayer’s employer is contacted with the taxpayer’s name, and amount owed to the Treasurer’s office.
- The employer is given a due date to send in the taxpayer’s wages for taxes and fees owed.
- Employer must send 100% of disposable wages until the lien is satisfied.
- The taxpayer is notified via mail of the action taking place.
- The taxpayer can come into the office and pay the lien as long as their payroll department has not finalized the payment.
- If the taxpayer comes in to pay the lien off, the employer will receive a lien release via fax or postal mail, that the lien has been satisfied. The lien MUST be paid in full in order to be released, and payment must be made by certified funds (cash, money order, cashier's check, debit/credit card).
Bank Liens Process
- The taxpayer’s bank is contacted with the taxpayer’s name, and amount owed to the Treasurer’s office.
- The bank is given 14 days to send in the taxpayer’s funds for taxes and fees owed.
- Bank must send 100% of available funds until the lien is satisfied.
- The taxpayer is notified via mail of the action taking place.
- The taxpayer can come into the office and pay the lien as long as their bank has not finalized the payment. The Treasurer's Office is not responsible for fees charged by the bank for this process.
- If the taxpayer comes in to pay the lien off, the bank will receive a lien release via fax or postal mail, that the lien has been satisfied. The lien MUST be paid in full in order to be released, and payment must be made by certified funds (cash, money order, cashier's check, debit/credit card).
Claims on State Tax Refund
Claims on State Tax Refund (Debt Set Off)
Debt Set Off (DSO) is used to collect delinquent personal property taxes and fees by intercepting payments, or refunds, from the Virginia Department of Taxation to taxpayers, pursuant to Article 21, in the Code of Virginia.
How does this process work?
- The Treasurer’s office submits claims to the Virginia Department of Taxation containing debts for delinquent personal property taxes and fees.
- The Virginia Department of Taxation assigns claim numbers to each claim submitted. Taxpayers can have multiple claim numbers due to multiple accounts.
- When funds become available, the Virginia Department of Taxation sends the Treasurer’s office a "Match ID" and "Match Amount". The Treasurer's Office sends the taxpayer a certification letter to certify the information. The Virginia Department of Taxation also notifies the taxpayer that funds were withheld.
- The Virginia Department of Taxation charges a 4% administrative fee from all finalized claims. This amount is added to the delinquent tax, along with any additional interest, to create the claim amount.
- The Virginia Department of Taxation sends one payment at the beginning of each month, which can cause a delay in our office receiving the funds, and the account being satisfied.
The taxpayer has the option to pay the account in full before the claim has been finalized, saving themselves the 4% administrative fee. Once the account has been paid in full, the claim is deleted, and the Virginia Department of Taxation will release the funds held within 7 to 10 business days. Payment must be made with certified funds (cash, money order, cashier's check, debit/credit card).
For additional information on Debt Set Off, please contact our office at (540) 658-8700. For questions regarding your state tax refund, or status of previously held funds, please contact the Department of Taxation, at (804) 367-8031.
Important Note about Remaining Balances
This process may not satisfy your tax balance with Stafford County in full. Claims are submitted for delinquencies as of a certain date. If a new tax or fee is assessed to your account either from the regular billing process or from an additional collection action, you are responsible for payment of the additional balance on the account. Please call the Treasurer's Office at (540) 658-8700 if you have questions about the balance due on your account(s).
Personal Property Collections Agency
Taxing Authority Consulting Services (TACS) now assists Stafford County Treasurer's Office in collecting delinquent personal property taxes due. In collecting delinquent tax accounts, TACS and the Treasurer may pursue all means of collection authorized by law, including the attachment of wages or other assets, the seizure of personal property or filing suit in court.
If you have received communication from TACS regarding a delinquent account, please contact them directly at 804-545-2500. It is important to speak with a live representative, and be sure to obtain a confirmation number for any payment made. Full contact info is listed below for convenience.
Taxing Authority Consulting Services (TACS)
P.O. Box 31800
Henrico, VA 23294-1800
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Pay Online: http://pay.taxva.com
Real Estate Collections Agency/Judicial Tax Sales
Virginia law specifically governs the judicial sale process (Article 4 of Chapter 39, Title 58.1 of the Code of Virginia, Code Sections 58.1-3965 et. seq.). Tax parcels are eligible for judicial sale in most cases when "any taxes on [such] real estate are delinquent on December 31 following the second anniversary of the date on which such taxes become due."
Currently, Stafford County Treasurers Office refers all qualified properties to the following attorney to commence the judicial sale process and sell the properties if necessary to satisfy delinquent real estate taxes, penalties and interest:
Sands Anderson PC
725 Jackson St Suite 217, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Phone: (540) 373-2504
Distress Collections/Property Seizure
The Treasurer's Office utilizes several methods for collection of delinquent taxes, including distress warrants specifically authorized by the Code of Virginia, §58.1-3919.
Distress is the seizure and sale of property to satisfy a tax debt. Any property, including moneys, of the debtor may be distrained to collect the delinquent balance owed. This action may appear as a lien, summons seizure of property or other collection method allowable by law.
Business Property: Property on which taxes are specifically assessed, either per item or in bulk, such as Business Tangible Property, may be subject to distress even when it is in the hands of a bona fide purchaser for value (Code of Virginia, §58.1-3941). If you have acquired property from a former business that has outstanding debts with the County, the property you purchased may be at risk.
If you have received a Distress Warrant issued by the sheriff, or have questions about this process, please call the Delinquent Collections Department at 540.658.8700, Option 3.
Sample of Distress Warrant: