The Audit Team performs audits of the Portsmouth Business Taxpayers to ensure compliance with the Commonwealth of Virginia and the City of Portsmouth tax laws in regards to Business License, Business Tangible Personal Property, Machinery and Tools and Excise Taxes, which include Meal Tax, Admission Tax, Transient Occupancy Tax and Short-Term Rental Tax.

Basic Audit Procedures

Audit selection is conducted with the use of trend, risk, and financial ratio analysis. An audit engagement letter or request for information requires a business to make available for examination, all pertinent:
  • Books of record, Transaction journals, Source documents, receipts, and invoices, Client prepared work papers, Federal, State, and local tax returns.
  • Many standard audit procedures are utilized to improve efficiencies and increase quantity and quality of the audit performance.


(Portsmouth City Code)
An appeal process has been implemented to encourage resolution of local taxes for businesses. A taxpayer can apply to the Commissioner of the Revenue for a review of a previously issued assessment. The appeals process requires the objection be filed in writing, along with any supporting documentation, within 90 days of the issuance of audit report. If the taxpayer is dissatisfied with the results of the local review, they may appeal the decision to the Tax Commissioner at the Virginia Department of Taxation.