The Business Tax Division is responsible for the assessment of the business privilege taxes, setting up new business license accounts in Arlington County, and monitoring changes of a business and its environment. Many new businesses are contacted by the Business Tax Division through information provided by various departments in the County such as real estate brokers' affidavits, tenant rosters of multi-use buildings, certificate of occupancy permits, building permits, contractor's lists and many others. The division processes over 23,000 business license tax returns a year.
The Custodial Tax Programs assess taxes and enforce the filing of tax returns for county meals tax, transient occupancy tax, cigarette tax and short-term rental tax collected by merchants on behalf of the Commissioner of Revenue. The custodial taxes collected by the merchant are held in trust for the County. The custodial tax programs also assess the annual bank franchise tax.
In addition to business license tax returns, the Business Tax Division also assesses the business tangible personal property on all furniture, fixtures, machinery and tools used in Arlington businesses. Every tax return is reviewed for accuracy to ensure the customer has entered the information requested properly, and thereby is taxed correctly for the business tangible personal property tax. The Business Tax Specialists process almost 14,000 business tangible returns each year.
The audit staff of the Business Tax Division ensures that businesses are being properly assessed. Desk audits are conducted, requests for additional information are sought, and determination of tax is made. The audit staff will also verify calculations, check taxes assessed against the previous years and verify mathematical calculations. The audit staff will conduct in-depth audits at the customer's place of business at the customer's request.