Food and Beverage Tax

  • File and Pay Tax Online   


    Effective July 1, 2022, Prince William County began levying a tax on the purchase of prepared food and beverages. The Food and Beverage tax is 4% of the total cost of food and beverages sold by restaurants and other businesses that meet the definition of restaurants. Any business where food and/or beverages are prepared and served to customers must collect food and beverage tax from its customers and remit this tax to the County on or before the 20th of each month for taxes collected the previous month.


    Establishments responsible for collecting/remitting food and beverage tax include but are not limited to the following:

    Amusement parks

    Billiard parlors



    Bowling alleys





    Coffee shops

    Concession stands


    Convenience stores


    Dining rooms

    Eating houses


    Food trucks and vendors

    Health clubs

    Hot dog stands

    Ice cream parlors/yogurt shops


    Mobile food services


    Movie theaters

    Public and private clubs

    Push carts


    Short order places

    Skating rinks

    Sporting venues




  • Definitions

    Any place where food is prepared for service to the public whether on or off the premises, any place where food is served to the public, or any place or operation that prepares or stores food for distribution to persons of the same business operation or of a related business operation for service to the public.

    Any and all edible refreshments or nourishment, liquid or otherwise, purchased in or from a restaurant or from a caterer, except snack foods sold separately.

    Any alcoholic beverages defined in Virginia Code §4.1-100, and non-alcoholic beverages.

    Pre-packaged doughnuts, chewing gum, candy, popcorn, peanuts, cookies and unopened cans of soda, bags of chips, etc. sold separately, and not as part of a meal.

    A person who furnishes food on the premises of another for compensation.

  • Exemptions

    The tax is not levied on food and beverages sold by:

    • Boardinghouses that do not accommodate transients.
    • Cafeterias operated by industrial plants for employees only.
    • Restaurants to their employees as part of their compensation when no charge is made to the employee.
    • Volunteer fire departments and volunteer emergency medical services agencies, nonprofit, churches or other religious bodies; or educational, charitable, fraternal, or benevolent organizations the first three times per calendar year from sales of food and beverages as a fundraising activity and the first $100,0000 in gross receipts the fourth time.
    • Churches that serve meals for their members as a regular part of their religious observances
    • Public or private elementary or secondary schools or institutions of higher education to their students or employees
    • Hospitals, medical clinics, convalescent homes, nursing homes, or other extended care facilities to patients or residents thereof
    • Day care centers
    • Homes for the aged, infirm, handicapped, battered women, narcotic addicts, or alcoholics.
    • Age-restricted apartment complexes or residences with restaurants, not open to the public, where meals are served, and fees are charged for such food and beverages and are included in rental fees.
    • Sellers at local farmers markets and roadside stands, when such sellers' annual income from such sales does not exceed $2,500 (the sellers' annual income shall include income from sales at all local farmers markets and roadside stands, not just those sales occurring in the locality imposing the tax).


    Also, the tax is not levied on food and beverages:

    • When used or consumed and paid for by the Commonwealth, any political subdivision of the Commonwealth, or the United State
    • Provided by a public or private nonprofit charitable organization or establishment to elderly, infirm, blind, handicapped, or needy persons in their homes, or at central locations.
    • Provided by private establishments that contract with the appropriate agency of the Commonwealth to offer food, food products, or beverages for immediate consumption at concession prices to elderly, infirm, blind, handicapped, or needy persons in their homes or at central locations.