Tax Relief for Surviving Spouses

The Constitution of Virginia, Article X, Section 6-A(b) provides for an exemption from property taxation for the primary dwelling of the Surviving Spouse of a United States Armed Forces member who was killed in action. The exemption is provided on an annual basis and must be requested by the Surviving Spouse.

  • Dwellings with an assessed value not in excess of the average assessed value of all dwellings in the county zoned single family residential will qualify for a full exemption. 
  • Dwellings that exceed the average assessed value will be assessed tax on the excess value. 
  • The average assessed value for all single family residential dwellings for 2023 is $690,144.
  • The average assessed value changes annually.

The real estate tax will be pro-rated if 

  1. The qualifying dwelling is sold.
  2. The title is transferred.
  3. It ceases to be the principal residence.
  4. The Surviving Spouse remarries
  5.  The Surviving Spouse dies.

Requirements for the Real Property Exemption of Surviving Spouses

Killed in Action

  • The United States Department of Defense must have determined the United States Armed Forces Member was killed in action. 
  • The United States Department of Defense Form DD 1300 must be provided with the first request for exemption.
  • To request a copy of the DD 1300,  submit Standard Form 180 to the National Archives. 

Property Ownership

  • The property must be owned by the Surviving Spouse requesting the exemption. 
  • Real property co-owned by the Surviving Spouse and other individuals, may receive a partial exemption based on the percentage of ownership by the Surviving Spouse. 
  • Property deeded to a trust may receive an exemption. A copy of Trust documents and amendments must be provided to the Commissioner of the Revenue with the first request for exemption. 
  • Property providing a life estate to a Surviving Spouse may qualify for the exemption. The documents supporting a life estate must be submitted with the first request for exemption.
  • Manufactured homes (mobile homes) may qualify. However, if the land on which the home is located is not owned by the Surviving Spouse, the land will not qualify for the exemption.

Use / Occupancy

  • The property must be occupied as the principal residence of the Surviving Spouse requesting the exemption.
  •  Additional structures that house or cover motor vehicles or household goods and personal effects may be exempt. 
  • The Surviving Spouse is required to file a new form if the principal residence changes.

How to Apply

If you feel you meet the qualifications for real property exemption for Surviving Spouses, you may access the application below or by emailing our office or call at 703-737-8557

To receive an exemption, complete the Request for Real Property Tax Exemption for the Surviving Spouse of a United States Armed Forces Member Killed in Action.

For assistance, contact the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue. We will provide physical or sensory accommodations for individuals to utilize this program.