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Real Estate Surviving Spouse Exemption (KIA)
 
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Commissioner of the Revenue
Timothy M. McPeters

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(804) 748-1281

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(804) 768-8649 Administration, Individual Personal Property
(804) 796-3236 Business License, Business Tangible Personal Property, Income Tax, Tax Relief

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Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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Commissioner of the Revenue
P.O. Box 124
Chesterfield, VA 23832-0908

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Commissioner of the Revenue
9901 Lori Road
Building 38, Room 165
Chesterfield, VA 23832
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Real Estate Surviving Spouse Exemption (KIA)

Effective January 1, 2015, Article 2.4 of the Code of Virginia, provides for an exemption of real estate taxes for the Surviving Spouses of Members of the Armed Forces Killed in Action or died of wounds received in action. This is effective for the surviving spouse of any member of the armed forces of the United States who was killed in action or died of wounds received in action as determined by the United States Department of Defense and who occupies the real property as his principal place of residence. If such member of the armed forces of the United States is killed in action or died of wounds received in action after January 1, 2015, and the surviving spouse has a qualified principal residence on the date that such member of the armed forces is killed in action or died of wounds received in action, then the exemption for the surviving spouse shall begin on the date that such member of the armed forces is killed in action or died of wounds received in action. If the surviving spouse acquires the property after January 1, 2015, 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.

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Real Estate Surviving Spouse Exemption (KIA) 

Commissioner of the Revenue Tim McPeters urges surviving spouses who are unsure if they qualify to apply for the exemption.

The following frequently asked questions should assist surviving spouses in determining their qualification for the program.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Are there any restrictions for this exemption?   Yes

  • Only those dwellings in the locality with assessed values in the most recently ended tax year that are not in excess of the average assessed value for such year of a dwelling situated on property that is zoned as single family residential shall qualify for the exemption under this article.  The average assessed value for this year, as assessed by the County Real Estate Assessor, is $179,864. If your home is valued in excess of this amount, you will not be eligible for this exemption.
  • The surviving spouse of a member of the armed forces killed in action or died of wounds received in action shall qualify for the exemption so long as the surviving spouse does not remarry and continues to occupy the real property as his principal place of residence.
  • In the event that the principal residence is jointly owned by two or more individuals, not all of whom qualify for the exemption, then the exemption shall be prorated by multiplying the amount of the exemption by a fraction that has as a numerator the percentage of ownership interest in the dwelling held by all such joint owners who qualify for the exemption, and as a denominator, 100 percent.
  • The fact that surviving spouses who are otherwise qualified for tax exemption pursuant to this article are residing in hospitals, nursing homes, convalescent homes, or other facilities for physical or mental care for extended periods of time shall not be construed to mean that the real estate for which tax exemption is sought does not continue to be the sole dwelling of such persons during such extended periods of other residence so long as such real estate is not used by or leased to others for consideration.
 

Whom do I contact to apply for the Surviving Spouse Exemption (KIA) Program?  

You should contact the Commissioner of the Revenue office at 804- 748-1281.

How do I apply for the Surviving Spouse Exemption Program (KIA)?  

To apply for this exemption, an application should be completed (i) setting forth the surviving spouse's name, (ii) indicating any other joint owners of the real property, and (iii) certifying that the real property is occupied as the surviving spouse's principal place of residence. The surviving spouse shall also provide documentation from the United States Department of Defense or its successor agency indicating the date that the member of the armed forces of the United States was killed in action or died of wounds received in action. Get the Tax Relief Application - Surviving Spouse, or call the office, or you can stop by the office to get one.

How can I prove I am eligible to receive the tax exemption? 

Attach to your tax exemption application a copy of the documentation from the United States Department of Defense or its successor agency indicating the date that the member of the armed forces of the United States was killed in action or died of wounds received in action.

Do I have to file for this tax exemption every year? 

No. The tax exemption is effective January 1, 2015. You only need to re-apply if the surviving spouse remarries or if the principal place of residence changes. The commissioner of the revenue will need to be notified promptly of any remarriage.

What is the deadline date to file for this tax relief?  

There is no immediate deadline date to file.

Does it matter whose name is on the deed?  

Yes. The surviving spouse must be an owner of the property and occupy it as his or her principal residence. Co-owners only get a percentage based on their percent of ownership.

What property does the tax exemption cover?  

The exemption will cover the real property taxes for the home and up to one acre of land upon which the home is situated.

Can I get the tax exemption if I own and live in a mobile home? 

Yes, as long as the surviving spouse owns and occupies the mobile home as his or her principal residence, and the property is zoned as single family residential.

Do I need to report any of my income to qualify for the surviving spouse exemption?  

No. This tax exemption program is not based on the amount of income you receive each year.

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