Code of the District of Columbia

§ 47–4471. Distraint.

(a) If a person determined to be liable to the District of Columbia for a tax neglects or refuses to pay the tax within 10 days after notice and demand, the Mayor may collect the tax, with interest and penalties thereon (and an amount sufficient to cover the expenses of the levy), by levy upon all property (including rights to property) of the person or on which there is a lien provided in this chapter for the payment of the tax. Levy shall be made upon the accrued salary or wages of an officer, employee, or elected official of the District of Columbia, or an agency or instrumentality of the District of Columbia, by serving a notice of levy on the employer of the officer, employee, or elected official. If the Mayor finds that the collection of the tax is in jeopardy under § 47-4451, notice and demand for immediate payment of the tax may be made by the Mayor and, upon failure or refusal to pay the tax, the tax may be collected by levy without regard to the 10-day period provided in this section.

(b) For the purposes of this subchapter, the term “levy” includes the exercise of the power of distraint and seizure by any means. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (e) of this section, a levy shall extend only to property possessed and obligations existing at the time of the levy. If the Mayor levies upon property, the Mayor may seize and sell the property.

(c) If property levied upon under subsection (a) of this section is not sufficient to satisfy the amount due to the District of Columbia, the Mayor may levy upon any other property of the person until the amount due, together with all expenses, is fully paid.

(d)(1) Levy shall be made under subsection (a) of this section upon the salary, wages, or other property of a person with respect to an unpaid tax only after the Mayor has notified the person in writing of his intention to make the levy.

(2) The notice required under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be:

(A) Given in person;

(B) Left at the dwelling or usual place of business of the person with some person of suitable age and discretion residing or working therein; or

(C) Sent by mail to the person’s last known address.

(3) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to a levy if the Mayor finds in accordance with subsection (a) of this section that the collection of tax is in jeopardy.

(4) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to a levy against an account maintained at a third-party financial institution.

(e) The effect of a levy on salary or wages payable to, or received by, a taxpayer shall be continuous from the date the levy is first made until the levy is released.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 405(b), 48 DCR 334; Apr. 4, 2003, D.C. Law 14-282, § 11(iii), 50 DCR 896.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-282 added subsec. (d)(4).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(qqq) of Tax Clarity and Recorder of Deeds Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-381, June 6, 2002, 49 DCR 5674).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(rrr) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-456, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8107).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 12(rrr) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-510, October 23, 2002, 49 DCR 10247).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 12(rrr) of Tax Clarity and Recorder of Deeds Temporary Act of 2002 (D.C. Law 14-191, October 5, 2002, law notification 49 DCR 9549).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 12(rrr) of Tax Clarity and Related Amendments Temporary Act of 2003 (D.C. Law 14-228, March 23, 2003, law notification 50 DCR 2741).