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District of Columbia property owners may be eligible for property tax relief. The District offers several programs to assist property owners and first time homebuyers. Select from the following programs to check eligibility and filing requirements. For more information about these tax relief and credit programs, contact our OTR Customer Service Center at (202) 727-4TAX (727-4829).
The housing market in the District of Columbia has caused a surge in the assessed value of residential real property. In an effort to limit the increase of real property taxes for homeowners, eligible homeowners will be provided an Assessment Cap Credit.
The Assessment Cap currently provides that a property may not be taxed on more than a 10 percent increase in the property’s assessed value each year. This credit does not reduce the assessed value of your property on the tax roll or the assessment notice, but it will appear as an automatic credit against your real property tax bill. For more information, property owners may call the OTR Customer Service Center at (202) 727-4TAX (727-4829). If you have been denied the Assessment Cap Credit and you believe that you are eligible, please contact the Homestead Unit, PO Box 176, Washington, DC 20044 or call Customer Service at (202) 727-4TAX (727-4829).
For homes purchased on or before December 31, 2011
This federal tax credit is available to first-time homebuyers in the District of Columbia. The credit is the smaller of:
In general, you may claim the credit if:
Income restrictions and other qualifications may apply. You must file the federal form 1040 to claim this credit. For more information, contact the Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-1040 or visit the local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center located at 500 North Capitol Street, NW, Washington, DC.
For information on special District programs for historic real properties, please contact:
This benefit reduces your real property
If a properly completed and approved application is filed from October 1 to March 31, the property will receive the Homestead benefit for the entire tax year (and for all tax years in the future). If a properly completed and approved application is filed from April 1 to September 30, the property will receive one-half of the benefit reflected on the second-half tax bill (and full deductions for all tax years in the future).
The Individual Income Tax Credit reduces the DC individual income tax liability of eligible homeowners and renters by up to $750. If your household's total income is $20,000 or less, you may be eligible.
To apply, file a Schedule H (Property Tax Credit Form) with your Form D-40 (Individual Income Tax Return). These forms are available in Personal Income Tax Service Center under Individual Income Forms/Publications.
For more information, please call or visit the OTR Customer Service Center at (202) 727-4TAX (727-4829) for more information.
Eligible homeowners, including non-profit organizations and shared equity investors, may receive a five-year tax abatement and be exempt from paying recordation and transfer taxes. The five-year period for the Lower Income Home Ownership Tax Abatement begins on October 1, after your deed has been recorded and you have previously applied for the abatement. To qualify, you must meet the following conditions:
If you qualify, submit a Lower Income/Shared Equity Home Ownership Exemption Application and Claim for Exemption from Real Property Recordation and Transfer Tax when you record your deed. These forms can be found in the OTR Recorder of Deeds.
Interested homeowners should call (202) 727-4TAX (727-4829) for more information. Schedule L Lower Income Long-Term Homeowner Credit [PDF]
DC Metropolitan Police Department officers who are first-time homeowners and live in their homes may be eligible for a sliding-scale real property tax credit. To apply, please call Housing Counseling Services, Inc. at (202) 667-7006.
If your total household Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is $50,000 or less, you may qualify for the low-income or low-income senior citizen property tax deferral. This program allows you to defer payment of increases in your property tax, or (if you are a senior citizen with household AGI of $50,000 or less) to defer your entire annual tax bill.
If you have lived in a Class 1 property for a year or more, and your tax is more than 10% higher than the previous year's tax, you may defer payment on the amount over the 10%.
To be eligible for the property tax deferral program, you must file an application and meet the following conditions:
You must file an application by March 31 to defer the first-half tax or by September 15 to defer the second-half tax.
For further information about this program, see the Tax Deferral for Low-Income and Low-Income Senior Property Owners Application [PDF] on the Real Property Tax Forms page, or call the OTR Customer Service Center at (202) 727-4TAX (727-4829).
The Application For Exemption From DC Real Property Tax is for use by nonprofit organizations who wish to apply for exemption from the District of Columbia real property tax. All questions must be fully answered or the application will be considered incomplete. The completed application, together with all documents requested in the instructions, should be mailed to:
Real Property Assessment Division
1101 4th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024
or delivered to:
Office of Tax and Revenue
Customer Service Center
1101 4th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024
Failure to submit any of the required information will delay action on the application for exemption and may result in a denial.
Organizations applying for exemption from DC real property tax must own the real property for which the request is made and qualify under DC Official Code § 47-1002. The applicant must specify the subsection of § 47-1002, detailing the major categories of exempt property, pursuant to which the exemption is sought. Current and proposed use of the property must be indicated, and a physical inspection of the property by this office is required. If any part of the property is leased, the tenant must supply the same types of documents that the owner must furnish with this application. Applications for exemption for property owned by foreign governments must be made through the U.S. Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions.
The exemption, if approved, will commence the first full month following the date the application is approved, provided the requirements for exemption are met.
The assessed value of such property shall be computed by:
In order to qualify for this preferential tax treatment, the property owner needs to supply to the Office of Tax and Revenue the following information:
Interested owners of “resale restricted properties” should call the OTR Customer Service Center at (202) 727-4TAX (727-4829) for more information.
When a property owner turns 65 years of age or older, or when he or she is disabled, he or she may file an application immediately for disabled or senior citizen property tax relief. This benefit reduces a qualified property owner's property tax by 50 percent. If the property owner lives in a cooperative housing association, the cooperative will supply and collect the applications. The following guidelines apply:
Effective October 1, 2014, low-income seniors may defer real property taxes, past due and prospective, at either 6% interest or no interest, depending upon age, income and length of residency. OTR has devised a form with which the senior must apply.
The Homestead Deduction, and Senior Citizen or Disabled Property Owner Application is available on the Real Property Tax Forms page.
If a properly completed and approved application is filed from October 1 to March 31, the property will receive the deduction for the entire tax year (and for all tax years in the future). If a properly completed and approved application is filed from April 1 to September 30, the property will receive one-half of the deduction reflected on the second installment (and full deductions for all tax years in the future).
A trash credit deduction may be issued for owners of condominiums, cooperative dwelling units, or certain homeowners who pay for garbage collection instead of receiving city garbage service. The trash credit is $98 for 2011. In order to qualify, the following circumstances must be met: