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Richmond Approves New Tax Amnesty Program For Businesses Struggling During Pandemic

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Under the program, businesses will not face any late fees for meals, lodging and admissions taxes due between March 21 and June 23. (Craig Carper/VPM)

Richmond City Council approved a new tax amnesty program Monday night, aimed at helping restaurants and other businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

In March, Mayor Levar Stoney began meeting with prominent restaurant owners to brainstorm ways to help them stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. Many restaurants and cultural attractions in Richmond have had to shut down due to social distancing guidelines. Some remain open for carry-out or take-out, but are still seeing huge declines in revenue.

Stoney first proposed the tax amnesty program when he recommended restaurants institute social distancing guidelines March 16.

“I understand that this action will take a toll on small businesses,” Stoney said in a statement. “That’s why we’re providing tax relief and exploring loan program options to support this valued community.”

Under the program, businesses will not face any late fees for meals, lodging and admissions taxes due between March 21 and June 23. Businesses who pay at least a quarter of their taxes by June 23 can also get a payment plan for up to six months. A business must pay all taxes and fees due before March 21 in order to be eligible. 

The city is also providing  disaster emergency loans to small businesses through its Department of Economic Development.

Businesses interested in applying for the tax amnesty program should  contact Richmond’s Department of Finance.

 

 

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