Code of the District of Columbia

§ 47–845.03. Tax deferral — Low-income senior property owners.

(a) For purposes of this section, the term:

(1) “Adjusted gross income” shall have the same meaning as in section 62 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, approved August 16, 1954 (68 Stat. 17; 26 U.S.C. § 62).

(1A) “Heir” means an individual named in an enforceable will or transfer on death deed, or an individual named as a beneficiary of an enforceable trust, or in the absence of the foregoing, an individual who shall inherit pursuant to Chapter 3 of Title 19 [§ 19-301 et seq.].

(2) “Household adjusted gross income” means the adjusted gross income of all persons residing in a household, as determined by each person’s federal income tax year ending immediately before the beginning of the real property tax year during which application is made under subsection (f) of this section, excluding the adjusted gross income of any person who is a tenant by virtue of a written lease for fair market value.

(3) “Residence” means the principal place of residence in the District of an individual who is domiciled in the District.

(4) “Senior’s household” means a house or condominium which is an individual’s residence:

(A) That comprises a dwelling unit;

(B) That is Class 1 Property, as defined in § 47-813, and contains not more than 5 dwelling units therein;

(C) That is owned at least 50%, in whole or in part, by the individual who is 65 years of age or older; and

(D) Wherein the household adjusted gross income is less than $50,000.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, a senior’s household may defer each year any real property tax owed.

(c) Taxes deferred under this section shall bear simple interest at the rate of ½% per month or portion of a month until paid; provided, that if an individual owner is 75 years of age or older, has less than $12,500 of household interest and dividend income, and has owned a residence in the District for at least the immediately preceding 25 years (including no more than 2 consecutive gaps of ownership where each gap shall not exceed 120 days), no interest shall bear for taxes deferred under this section.

(d) No further deferrals of real property tax shall be granted to a senior’s household if the aggregate amount of the deferred tax, plus interest, from previous tax years, under this section, § 47-845, and § 47-845.02 is equal to or greater than 25% of the assessed value of the property for the tax year for which the deferral is requested.

(e)(1) There shall be a lien on the real property in the amount of the deferred real property tax, plus interest, at the rate as provided in subsection (c) of this section or subsection (j) of this section, as applicable, and any penalties.

(2) Deferred real property tax, interest thereon, and any penalties, shall be payable within 30 days from the transfer of the real property. Upon such transfer, real property tax that is not timely paid, with interest thereon, shall thereafter be deemed delinquent real property tax.

(3) Where the real property that is the subject of the deferral is not or is no longer part of the estate of the eligible applicant and in an active probate proceeding thereof, real property tax, interest thereon, and any penalties shall be due as follows:

(A) Within 90 days from the date of death of the eligible applicant, or 30 days from the date of transfer or cessation of probate legal proceedings related to the real property, whichever is sooner, if the real property is not transferred to heirs; or

(B) Within one year from the date of death of the eligible applicant if the real property is or shall be transferred to heirs pursuant to trust, transfer on death deed, or other such instrument.

(4) Where the real property that is the subject of the deferral is part of the estate of the eligible applicant and in an active probate proceeding thereof, real property tax, interest thereon, and any penalties shall be due within one year from the date of transfer by the personal representative of such real property.

(5) Real property tax, interest thereon, and any penalties on a real property due and not timely paid shall be deemed delinquent real property tax.

(f) To qualify the senior’s household to receive the deferral, the individual shall complete and file with the Mayor an application in a form prescribed by the Mayor. The individual shall certify, under penalty of perjury, the information provided on the application form and the application form shall be filed in the manner prescribed by the Mayor. The Mayor may require the individual to provide any information which the Mayor considers necessary, including all taxpayer identification numbers of the individual, any other owner, any person with legal or equitable title, and any person in the household of the individual. The Mayor may also require the individual, any other owner, any person with legal or equitable title, and any person in the household of the individual to submit information after the deferral has been allowed to determine whether the real property remains a senior’s household and entitled to the deferral.

(g) If a properly completed and approved application is filed, the applicant may choose to have the deferral apply to past years; provided, that the amount deferred shall comply with subsection (d) of this section and the periods of applicability are stated in the application; provided further, that the applicant is responsible for accrued attorneys’ fees.

(h) The application form filed by the individual shall apply to the initial tax year and to any succeeding tax year thereafter for which the deferral is allowed.

(i)(1) Unless otherwise provided in this section, if the senior’s household no longer qualifies for the deferral, the eligible owner shall notify the Mayor of the date of the change in eligibility within 30 days after the change in eligibility and the amount of the deferred tax, plus interest at the rate provided in subsection (c) of this section, for the tax year in which the change in eligibility occurred shall be paid within 90 days of the change in eligibility. If the applicant fails to pay timely to the Mayor, the amount of the deferred tax, plus interest thereon, shall bear interest at the rate provided for the payment of delinquent real property taxes, plus applicable penalties thereon.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, if the real property of the senior’s household is transferred and continued to qualify for the deferral 30 days or less before the date of execution of the deed of transfer, the individual, shareholder, or member shall not be required to notify the Mayor of the change in eligibility.

(3) If the change in eligibility occurs during the period October 1 through March 31 of the tax year, the deferral shall be disallowed for the entire tax year.

(4) If the change in eligibility occurs during the period April 1 through September 30, the deferral shall be disallowed for only 1/2 of the property taxes for the year.

(5)(A) If a filed application is properly completed and not disapproved, taxes deferred shall remain deferred and the taxes from prospective tax years shall continue to be deferred notwithstanding household adjusted gross income applicable to prospective tax years that exceeds the threshold in subsection (a)(4)(D) of this section.

(B) This paragraph shall not apply where the senior’s household no longer qualifies for the deferral for any other reason.

(j) If real property tax is owing as a result of an erroneous or improper deferral, the following shall apply:

(1)(A) If the senior’s household was transferred, the individual shall be personally liable for the amount of the delinquent real property tax which was not paid timely during the period when the individual had an ownership interest in the senior’s household, together with interest at the same rate as provided in this chapter for the late payment of real property tax.

(B) The tax shall be considered due on the date that the total amount of real property tax was due but unpaid and shall be collected in the manner prescribed under Chapter 44.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, if the senior’s household was transferred and the grantee failed to timely record a deed under § 47-1431, there shall be a lien on the real property in the amount of the delinquent real property tax which was not timely paid, together with interest as provided in this chapter for the late payment of real property tax.

(3) In all other cases, there shall be a lien on the real property in the amount of the delinquent real property tax which was not paid timely, together with interest as provided in this chapter for the late payment of real property tax.

(k) The eligibility of a senior’s household for the deferral shall not be affected by the transfer of the senior’s household into a revocable trust if the transfer is without consideration and the senior’s household remains the residence of the individual-grantor before and after the transfer.

(l) Only one individual in a household and that individual’s spouse or domestic partner, if any, shall claim a deferral for a senior’s household in the District.

(m) If an individual claims more than one senior’s household in the same tax year, and has not timely notified the Mayor of all changes in eligibility, the Mayor shall disallow the deferral for all senior’s households claimed by the individual.

(n) Section 47-863(k) shall apply in the case of deferral under this section.

(o) The real property tax bill shall indicate whether the real property is receiving the deferral under this section. Any tax certificate shall indicate whether the real property is receiving the deferral under this section and the amount of deferred real property tax, interest thereon, and penalties. If a tax certificate does not contain the foregoing information, the eligible owner, and not the real property, shall be personally liable for the amount of deferred real property tax, interest thereon, and penalties.

(p) Repealed.


(Oct. 20, 2005, D.C. Law 16-33, § 1142(b), 52 DCR 7503; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-191, § 5(d), 53 DCR 6794; Sept. 12, 2008, D.C. Law 17-231, § 41(c), 55 DCR 6758; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-345, § 2(b), 56 DCR 962; Dec. 4, 2014, D.C. Law 20-141, § 101(a)(5), 61 DCR 7763; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, §§ 7052(a)(1), 7102(a)(5), 7104, 61 DCR 9990; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, §§ 7036(c), 7202, 62 DCR 10905.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-405 and § 47-845.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-191, in subsecs. (a)(4)(A), (B), (C), and (D), validated previously made technical corrections.

D.C. Law 17-231, in subsec. (l), substituted “spouse or domestic partner” for “spouse”.

D.C. Law 17-345, in subsec. (o), added the last two sentences.

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-141, repealed before its effective date, would have rewritten (c) and (g); and repealed (p).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 rewrote (c) and (g); and repealed (p).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 1142(b), 1144 of Fiscal Year 2006 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-168, July 26, 2005, 52 DCR 7667).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(b) of Real Property Tax Benefits Revision Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-145, October 17, 2007, 54 DCR 10748).

For temporary (90 day) amendment, see § 2(b) of Real Property Tax Benefits Revision Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-435, July 16, 2008, 55 DCR 8268).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(b) of Real Property Tax Benefits Revision Emergency Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-547, October 24, 2008, 55 DCR 11975).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(a)(3) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-342, May 28, 2014, 61 DCR 5691).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 101(a)(3) of the Residential Real Property Equity and Transparency Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-409, Aug. 1, 2014, 61 DCR 8281).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 7062(a)(1) and 7112(a)(5) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 7052(a)(3) and 7102(a)(5) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7052(a), see § 2(m) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-461, November 6, 2014, 61 DCR 11784, 20 STAT 4368).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(a), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-461, November 6, 2014, 61 DCR 11784, 20 STAT 4368).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 7052(a)(3) and 7102(a)(5) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, and amendment of D.C. Law 20-155, § 7052(a), see § 2(m) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-587, January 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1294, 21 STAT 758).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7102(a), see the first § 2(q) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-587, January 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1294, 21 STAT 758).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 7016(v)(3), 7016(y)(2), and 7072 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7172 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(b) of D.C. Law 17-72 amended subsec. (o) by adding two new sentences at the end to read as follows: “Any tax certificate shall indicate whether the real property is receiving the deferral under this section and the amount of deferred real property tax, interest thereon, and penalties. If a tax certificate does not contain the foregoing information, the eligible owner, and not the real property, shall be personally liable for the amount of deferred real property tax, interest thereon, and penalties.”

Section 5(b) of D.C. Law 17-72 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Section 2(b) of D.C. Law 17-295, in subsec. (o), added two sentences to the end to read as follows: “Any tax certificate shall indicate whether the real property is receiving the deferral under this section and the amount of deferred real property tax, interest thereon, and penalties. If a tax certificate does not contain the foregoing information, the eligible owner, and not the real property, shall be personally liable for the amount of deferred real property tax, interest thereon, and penalties.”

Section 5(b) of D.C. Law 17-295 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(r)(3) and (5) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Law 20-179, March 7, 2015, 62 DCR 424).

Editor's Notes

Section 1144 of D.C. Law 16-33 provided that §§ 1142 and 1143 shall apply to tax periods beginning after September 30, 2005.

D.C. Law 20-141 became effective on Dec. 4, 2014, but was repealed prior to its effective date by emergency D.C. Act 20-377, § 7114, eff. July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, by emergency D.C. Act 20-449, § 7104, eff. October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, by emergency D.C. Act 20-566, § 7104, eff. January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, and by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7104, 61 DCR 9990.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-36: Section 7048(b) of D.C. Law 21-36 provided that §§ 7027, 7031, 7036, and 7037 of the act shall apply as of October 1, 2014.