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City of Richmond Makes Progress on Meal Tax Review

City of Richmond Makes Progress on Meal Tax Review 

Announces Penalties and Interest Freeze for Cases Under Review

Today the City of Richmond announced a penalties and interest freeze (PIF) as part of its review of the collection and application of payment for Meals Taxes.

While the city strives to review all meals tax accounts, the cases that will take priority are those that are currently delinquent. The objective of the Department of Finance’s review is to ensure tax collections are being conducted accurately and in accordance with the applicable tax laws and regulations.

Meals Tax accounts with existing delinquencies as of March 1, 2024, will receive notice by mail that their account is under review. The review will be conducted by the Department of Finance’s Payment Allocation Review Committee and the results communicated to each business owner. The Department of Finance’s goal is to complete this review process by July 1, 2024. However, if the Department is not able to complete an account review by July 1st, a new review timeline will be communicated directly to the business owner. So that no business receives additional costs due to this review period, penalties and interest will be frozen for cases under review.

However, businesses must continue to collect and remit their monthly meals tax payments per state and city law. The city cannot commit to waive penalty and interest on future late payments.

Business owners who have additional questions are invited to file a request with the Department of Finance by submitting a Meals Tax Inquiry Form available at You can also email your request to If you chose to email, do not include personal identifiable information because email is not always secure.

The goal of the city is to work collaboratively with business owners to achieve an accurate result, therefore, please note the following: 

  • Until the city has completed its transition to a new collection system (RVA Pay), the review will be a manual process performed by the Department of Finance which will take time.
  • Each case is different, and therefore, outcomes are determined case-by-case. During the review, we may request access to relevant financial records, receipts, and other related documentation.
  • If you receive a delinquent notice while your account is under review, please contact for further information.

We are committed to ensuring minimal disruption to businesses daily operations during this process. Should there be a specific concern, please do not hesitate to contact Additionally, to receive updates or notifications, businesses should make sure the Department of Finance has your current contact information.

“The City of Richmond is hard at work to ensure restaurants have the ability to thrive in the City of Richmond,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “While this is just the start, we remain committed to creating a more efficient and customer friendly environment for all. The Department of Finance has made progress and resolved several businesses’ cases and is committed to implementing a better collections system, reviewing delinquent accounts, and opening new communications channels with restaurant owners.”


  • Collaborative Communications: Identify and communicate with businesses as part of the city’s review of the collection and application of payment for Meals Taxes.

  • Business Café’s: The city plans to host a series of Business Cafés that will include subject matter experts to answer questions in real-time and assist businesses with other immediate issues.
  • Career Fair: Apply for vacant positions within the Department of Finance on Thursday, March 7, 2024, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Bon Secours Training.
  • Implement RVA Pay: Transition from the previous payment and collection system to a modern automated system called RVA Pay. Implementation of this system will allow businesses and residents to view their accounts, make payments, and get billing information in real time. Converting to this system will remove many of the manual and time intensive processes the city currently has to administer taxes.


  • Established a secure website for appeals form submission:
  • Established a Meals Tax email address for businesses to communicate concerns to the Department of Finance: 
  • Established a Payment Allocation Review Committee to evaluate cases. 
  • Changed hours for the City Hall Finance Office (1st floor) to allow additional time for manual review of cases. The City Hall Finance Office will be closed on Wednesdays at noon beginning February 28, 2024.

This modified schedule will help the department address pending items, perform important work related to RVA Pay, and focus on improving customer satisfaction. The modified hours will allow the staff to concentrate on addressing tax issues, which will help ensure better communication and timely and accurate billing.

Please note the Southside Plaza location (4100 Hull Street) and the East District Initiative (701 North 25th Street) remain open.