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Real Estate Tax Exemption

Real Property Tax Exemptions for Veterans

On November 2, 2010, by the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia ratified a proposed amendment, adding Section 6-A to the Constitution of Virginia. It went into effect on January 1, 2011.

Section 6-A. Property tax exemption for certain veterans.

A. Pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 6-A of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia, and for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2011, the General Assembly hereby exempts from taxation the real property, including the joint real property of husband and wife, of any veteran who has been rated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or its successor agency pursuant to federal law to have a 100 percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability, and who occupies the real property as his principal place of residence. If the veteran’s disability rating occurs after January 1, 2011, and he has a qualified primary residence on the date of the rating, then the exemption for him under this section begins on the date of such rating. However, no county, city, or town shall be liable for any interest on any refund due to the veteran for taxes paid prior to the veteran’s filing of the affidavit or written statement required by § 58.1-3219.6. If the qualified veteran acquires the property after January 1, 2011, then the exemption shall begin on the date of acquisition, and the previous owner may be entitled to a refund for a pro rata portion of real property taxes paid pursuant to § 58.1-3360.

B. The surviving spouse of a veteran eligible for the exemption set forth in this article shall also qualify for the exemption, so long as the death of the veteran occurs on or after January 1, 2011, and the surviving spouse does not remarry. The exemption applies without any restriction on the spouse’s moving to a different principal place of residence…

For the full Code section, please visit: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title58.1/chapter32/section58.1-3219.5/

This means, if the application is approved, localities must exempt from taxation:

  • The dwelling that is the principal residence of the qualifying veteran and up to one acre of land (or more if an exemption for greater than one acre is provided to elderly and handicapped persons).
  • Owned by a Veteran with a 100% service-connected, permanent and total disability, who is/was alive on or after Jan. 1, 2011
  • Or the surviving spouse of such veterans, (§ 58.1-3219.5)
  • Or the surviving spouse of any member of the United States armed forces who was killed in action, which includes the DOW designation. (§ 58.1-3219.9)
  • Veterans rated at less than 100% but who the VA rates at 100% due to individual unemployability AND are rated “permanent and total” qualify for the exemption.
  • The exemption shall remain provided that the disabled veteran or surviving spouse:
  • Occupies the real property as their principal place of residence;
  • For surviving spouses, provided they do not remarry.
  • As of July 1, 2019, surviving spouses of KIA/DOW and 100% disabled veterans are allowed to move and take the exemption with them.

*However, for surviving spouses of 100% disabled veterans who apply for the exemption after the veteran has passed away, they must be living in the home that was the primary residence of the veteran at time of death and that death must be on or after January 1, 2011.

*For surviving spouses of active duty KIA/DOW – the service member may have died in combat prior to 2015 when the constitutional amendment was enacted, however, they cannot claim the exemption prior to 2015.

  • The updated regulations for 58.1-3219.5 were published in the VAC in July 2019
  • RIS published the regulations for 58.1-3219.9 in the Spring of 2018.

The Policy & Guidelines for Commissioners of the Revenue and Other Assessing Officials for §§ 58.1-3219.5 and 58.1-3219.9 Revised 2019 was distributed to the Virginia Commissioners of the Revenue Association, and has been submitted to the Library of Virginia as part of the State Documents Project. It is a public document and is available upon request from DVS.