Mandatory use of EMV cards starting October, 2015.

Protecting consumers’ sensitive information is a priority for retailers and consumers alike. To help with this protection, Federal regulations are being developed to incorporate the mandatory use of EMV cards starting October, 2015. These cards have an embedded microprocessor chip that encrypts, protects and stores cardholder data. Chip cards are more difficult to duplicate due to their authentication capabilities -- making fraud and card duplication more difficult.

Retailers who do not have EMV card readers will be liable.

EMV cards are widely used in Europe, however, the United States’ credit card industry has been slower to provide this technology. As proposed, the new U.S. credit cards could be used with either EMV or signature processing systems; however retailers who do not have EMV card readers will be liable. Here’s why: currently, if you run a fraudulent card, banks absorb the costs. Starting in October 2015, if someone pays with a fraudulent chip card, and you’re not set up with an EMV card reader, the banks will no longer be liable. For example, a fraudster buys $30 worth of socks from a shoe store with a counterfeit EMV chip card. If the store doesn’t have a chip card reader to process the transaction, it could be on the hook for the $30.

Protect your business.

In order to be in compliance when the regulation becomes effective October 2015, we encourage you to communicate with your current merchant services provider as soon as possible. They will be able to provide you with the most up-to-date details about how the new systems work, along with upgrade requirements for business’s data payment collection information systems. Getting an EMV-enabled device is a good thing to start considering. The sooner you’re set up, the sooner your business will be better protected

Need assistance? The representatives at Worldpay, a Retail Merchants Association endorsed vendor, are available for consultation on EMV card technology.

Scott Johnston | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 804.836.6798

Chris Harrison | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 703.969.8302

For further information, questions, or concerns, please contact a member of our lobbying team.

Virginia Retail Federation (VRF) was challenged to convince the Virginia General Assembly of the negative impact the Governor’s budget proposal pertaining to the “Accelerated Sales Tax” (AST) would have on retailers. AST requires businesses to pay one month’s sales taxes early and currently applies to businesses with $26 million in annual sales.

Effective July 1, 2015, the newly adopted State budget lowered the AST threshold to businesses with $2.5 million in annual sales. This will dramatically impact over 4,000 additional small retailers who will now be required to pay AST. This means that a business with $2.5 million in annual sales tax must pay 90% of their anticipated monthly sales tax for June before those taxes have been fully collected. Under current procedure, collected sales taxes are due the next month. Even though the state budget goes into effect July 1,2015, the law requires retailers to estimate taxes and submit in June of 2015. The accelerated payment requirement applies only to the month of June. However, this means that many retailers will have to pay double taxes in June 2015: both the actual taxes due for May sales and the estimated taxes due for June sales. If a retailer overpays taxes the June taxes, the overpayment will result in a credit for their July. It will not result in a refund.

For more information you may vist the Tax Department's website at

Contact a member of our lobbying team with any questions.

Effective July 1, 2015, all three of Virginia’s Sales Tax holidays will be consolidated into one. The combined tax holiday will be held from August 7 – 9, 2015 and will apply to items previously covered in the Hurricane Preparedness, Back to School, and Energy Star/Water Sense Tax Holidays.

Items that are required to be tax free during this three day holiday include:
- School supplies ($20 or less), clothing and footwear ($100 or less)
- Energy Star and WaterSense items ($2,500 or less)
- Hurricane and emergency equipment (portable generators $1,000 or less and many more items)

Note** If you sell products or services that fall into the above categories, you are required to participate in this state Tax Holiday.

For more information on the May Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, and the combined Sales Tax Holiday in August, visit the Virginia Department of Taxation website at

Contact a member of our lobbying team with any questions.

EFairness/Internet Sales Tax legislation provides the opportunity for states to implement sales tax collection for internet sales. The tax reporting requirement is already in place, it is NOT a new tax. Although, the majority of consumers do not report it.

Retail Merchants Association (RMA) and Retail Alliance (RA) members have provided valuable and effective messages through the media, as well as during visits with Congressional representatives.

RA and RMA member media publications:
E-fairness enforce existing law equally >>
Today’s top opinion online sales taxing questions >>
Gary Weiner's Commentary: did you pay state sales tax on that internet purchase? >>
OpEd submitted to the RTD by Jeff Wells, Fleet Feet, RMA member >>
Gas prices could rise after failure of sales tax legislation, RTD article featuring Lisa McSherry and VRF >>

Detailed information about EFairness/Internet Sales Tax legislation is available on the Stand With Main Street website:

The Virginia WIC Program is holding mandatory training sessions for retailers during August and September, 2014. Existing Retailer Agreements with the VA WIC Program expire as of September 30, 2014.  To qualify for authorization under the new Retailer Agreement, all stores must send at least one store management representative to a mandatory training session.  For more information, click here

If you have questions, contact Sheila Brewer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 804.864.7810.