Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter II. Procedure.


§ 47–1521. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “District” means the District of Columbia.

(2) “Mayor” means the Mayor of the District of Columbia.

(3) “Person” means an individual, firm, partnership, society, club, association, joint-stock company, corporation (domestic or foreign), estate, receiver, trustee, assignee, referee, and a fiduciary or other representative, whether or not appointed by a court, and any combination of individuals acting as a unit.

(4) “Tangible personal property” means tangible goods and chattels used or held for use in any business, activity, or occupation whether or not operated for profit.

(5) “Tax year” means the 12-month period beginning July 1st and ending the next June 30th.

(6) “Trade or business” means engaging in, carrying on, and winding up the affairs of a trade, business, profession, vocation, calling, or commercial activity whether or not operated for profit, and includes performing the duties of a public office, the leasing or renting of real or personal property, whether or not the property is leased or rented directly or through an agent and whether or not services are performed in connection with the property, and any other activity carried on or engaged in for livelihood or profit.

(7) “Use in a trade or business” means use of property in commencing, conducting, continuing, or liquidating a trade or business.


(Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-212, § 2, 34 DCR 850; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-1521.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-1508 and § 47-2501.01.


§ 47–1522. Levy of annual tax on personal property.

(a) Each year the district shall levy a tax against every person on the tangible personal property owned or held in trust in that person’s trade or business in the District. The rate of tax shall be $3.40 for each $100 of value of the taxable personal property, in excess of $225,000 in value.

(b) Construction equipment, vehicles, trailers, tools, and any other tangible personal property brought into the District on a temporary basis and used in a trade or business shall be taxed for the period that the property was physically located in the District.

(c) Persons owning leased personal property having a taxable situs in the District shall be subject to the tax and to the filing requirement of § 47-1524(b).

(d) Real property improvements that do not become an integral part of the realty shall be subject to the personal property tax imposed by subsection (a) of this section.

(e) Persons owning or holding in trust any tangible personal property located or having a taxable situs in the District on July 1st of the tax year that is used or available for use in a trade or business, whether or not operated for profit, shall file a return according to § 47-1524(b).


(Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-212, § 3, 34 DCR 850; Sept. 10, 1992, D.C. Law 9-145, § 106, 39 DCR 4895; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; Oct. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 13-38, § 2702(d), 46 DCR 6373; Mar. 20, 2008, D.C. Law 17-123, § 3(b), 55 DCR 1513.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-1522.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-123, in subsec. (a), substituted “$225,000” for “$50,000”.

D.C. Law 13-38 in subsec. (a) inserted the phrase “, in excess of $50,000 in value” immediately following the phrase “The rate of tax shall be $3.40 for each $100 of value of the taxable personal property”.


§ 47–1523. Reporting requirement; valuation of property.

(a) The full and true value and the current value of tangible personal property, including taxable leasehold improvements, having a taxable situs in the District shall be reported on the return. The full and true value shall be the original costs of the tangible personal property in an arms-length transaction, computed as of July 1st of the tax year. The current value of the tangible personal property shall be the full and true value less a reasonable allowance for straight line depreciation in accordance with rules promulgated by the Mayor and the provisions under subsections (b), (c), (d), and (e) of this section. Tangible personal property items with a useful life of one year or less shall be reported at cost. No proration of value shall be permitted in anticipation of the disposition of an item of tangible personal property. In no event shall the current value reported be less than 25% of the original cost or exchange value of the tangible personal property, except as permitted under subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Qualified technological equipment shall be depreciated at the rate of 30% per year, and shall not be depreciated to a value less than 10% of original cost or exchange value.

(c) For personal property tax years beginning July 1, 2000, taxpayers who acquired qualified technological equipment on or before June 30, 2000, may calculate the current value of those assets as if the depreciation rate provided in subsection (b) of this section was used from the acquisition date; however, there shall be no credit or refund of tax paid in earlier tax years under the prior depreciation rate.

(d) For the purposes of this section:

(1) “Computer” means a programmable electronically activated device that is capable of accepting information, applying prescribed processes to the information, and supplying the results with or without human intervention, and that consists of a central unit containing extensive storage, logic, arithmetic, and control capabilities.

(2) “Qualified technological equipment” means any computer or related peripheral equipment other than the type mentioned in subsection (e)(1) of this section.

(3) “Related peripheral equipment” means any auxiliary machine (whether on-line or off-line) that is designed to be placed under the control of a computer, and operate in conjunction with such computer.

(e) For the purposes of this section:

(1) “Computer” or “related peripheral equipment” shall not include:

(A) Any equipment that is an integral part of other property that is not a computer;

(B) Typewriters, calculators, adding and accounting machines, copiers, duplicating equipment, and similar devices;

(C) Equipment of a kind primarily used for amusement or entertainment of the user;

(D) Mainframe computers that are capable of simultaneously supporting multiple transactions and multiple users, and having an original cost in excess of $500,000; including any additional memory units, tape drives, disk drives, power supplies, cooling units, and communication controllers that are related peripheral equipment to such computers; or

(E) Computers used in operating industrial processing equipment, equipment used in a computer assisted manufacturing system, equipment used in computer assisted design or engineering system integral to an industrial process, or subunit or electronic assembly comprising a component in a computer integrated industrial processing system.


(Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-212, § 4, 34 DCR 850; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; Oct. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 13-38, § 2702(e), 46 DCR 6373.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-1523.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-38 rewrote this section adding thereto provisions comprising the exception at the end of subsec. (a) and added the provisions contained in subsecs. (b) through (e).


§ 47–1524. Form of tax return; filing; extensions.

(a) The form of the personal property tax return shall be prescribed by the Mayor and the return shall conveniently document the information that the Mayor considers necessary for the proper administration of the District personal property tax system.

(b) The taxpayer shall not file the return before July 1st, but shall file the return before August 1st, of the tax year. The total amount of tax required to be shown on the return is due at the time the return is required to be filed.

(c) The Mayor may grant a reasonable extension of time for filing a return when good cause for the extension exists. Any request for an extension of time for filing a return shall be in writing, made before August 1st of the tax year, and accompanied by payment of the tax.

(d) The extension permitted under subsection (c) of this section shall not be granted for more than 3 months after July 31st of the tax year.


(Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-212, § 5, 34 DCR 850; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-1524.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-1522.


§ 47–1525. Filing returns; notice to party; records; examination. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-212, § 6, 34 DCR 850; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 406(q)(2), 48 DCR 334.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-1525.

Editor's Notes

Section 410(d) of D.C. Law 13-305 provided: “Section 406(a), (c), (j), (m), (p), (q), (s), (w), (bb), (dd), (ee), (hh) through (kk), (mm) through (oo), (qq) through (uu), (yy), (zz), (bbb), (ddd), and (fff) shall apply for all tax years or taxable periods beginning after December 31, 2000.”


§ 47–1526. Assessment; collection; deadline; fraudulent returns; extensions. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-212, § 7, 34 DCR 850; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 406(q)(2), 48 DCR 334.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-1526.

Editor's Notes

Section 410(d) of D.C. Law 13-305 provided: “Section 406(a), (c), (j), (m), (p), (q), (s), (w), (bb), (dd), (ee), (hh) through (kk), (mm) through (oo), (qq) through (uu), (yy), (zz), (bbb), (ddd), and (fff) shall apply for all tax years or taxable periods beginning after December 31, 2000.”


§ 47–1527. Failure to file or fraudulent return; collection and enforcement.

(a) If a person fails to make or file a return required or files a fraudulent return, the Mayor shall make the return for the person based upon information that the Mayor may obtain through testimony or other sources.

(b) A return made according to subsection (a) of this section and signed by the Mayor shall be sufficient for all purposes related to the collection and enforcement of the personal property tax.


(Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-212, § 8, 34 DCR 850; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-1527.


§ 47–1528. Deficiency; request for hearing.

Assessments of any deficiencies in the tax due under this chapter, or any interest and penalties thereon, shall be governed by § 47-4312.


(Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-212, § 9, 34 DCR 850; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; Dec. 7, 2004, D.C. Law 15-217, § 4(a), 51 DCR 9126; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-191, § 48(j), 53 DCR 6794.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-1528.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-217 rewrote the section.

D.C. Law 16-191 repealed section 79 of D.C. Law 15-354 which had amended this section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(a) of Office of Administrative Hearings Establishment Emergency Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-513, August 2, 2004, 51 DCR 8976).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(a) of Office of Administrative Hearings Establishment Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-553, October 26, 2004, 51 DCR 10359).


§ 47–1529. Acceleration of due date; distraint of taxpayer’s property. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-212, § 10, 34 DCR 850; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 406(r)(2), 48 DCR 334.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-1529.

Editor's Notes

Section 410(e) of D.C. Law 13-305 provided: “Section 406(b), (d), (f), (l), (n), (o), (r), (v), (x)through (aa), (cc), (ff), (gg), (ll), (pp), (vv), (ww), (aaa), (ccc), (eee), and (ggg) shall apply as of January 1, 2001.”


§ 47–1530. Personal debt liability; priority; collection; “person” defined. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-212, § 11, 34 DCR 850; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 406(r)(2), 48 DCR 334.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-1530.

Editor's Notes

Section 410(e) of D.C. Law 13-305 provided: “Section 406(b), (d), (f), (l), (n), (o), (r), (v), (x)through (aa), (cc), (ff), (gg), (ll), (pp), (vv), (ww), (aaa), (ccc), (eee), and (ggg) shall apply as of January 1, 2001.”


§ 47–1531. Failure to file; fraudulent return; penalties and interest. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Feb 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-212, § 12, 34 DCR 850; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 406(s)(2), 48 DCR 334.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-1531.

Editor's Notes

Section 410(d) of D.C. Law 13-305 provided: “Section 406(a), (c), (j), (m), (p), (q), (s), (w), (bb), (dd), (ee), (hh) through (kk), (mm) through (oo), (qq) through (uu), (yy), (zz), (bbb), (ddd), and (fff) shall apply for all tax years or taxable periods beginning after December 31, 2000.”


§ 47–1532. Overpayment; credit or refund; time for filing; interest. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-212, § 13, 34 DCR 850; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 406(s)(2), 48 DCR 334.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-1532.

Editor's Notes

Section 410(d) of D.C. Law 13-305 provided: “Section 406(a), (c), (j), (m), (p), (q), (s), (w), (bb), (dd), (ee), (hh) through (kk), (mm) through (oo), (qq) through (uu), (yy), (zz), (bbb), (ddd), and (fff) shall apply for all tax years or taxable periods beginning after December 31, 2000.”


§ 47–1533. Appeal from assessment or denial of claim for refund.

Any person aggrieved by any assessment of a deficiency in tax and any person aggrieved by the denial of a claim for refund may, within 6 months from the date of the assessment of the deficiency or from the date of the denial of a claim for refund, as the case may be, appeal to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, in the same manner and to the same extent as set forth in §§ 47-3303, 47-3304, 47-3306, 47-3307, and 47-3308.


(Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-212, § 14, 34 DCR 850; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-1533.


§ 47–1534. Violations; penalties; prosecutions. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-212, § 15, 34 DCR 850; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; Oct. 4, 2000, D.C. Law 13-204, § 2(c), 47 DCR 5799.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-1534.


§ 47–1535. Rules; powers of Mayor.

(a) The Mayor shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this subchapter pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2.

(b) In addition to the other powers granted the Mayor under this subchapter, the Mayor may:

(1) For reasonable cause, waive penalties and interest in whole or in part;

(2) Compromise disputed claims in regard to the personal property tax whenever any doubt arises as to the liability or collectability of the tax; and

(3) Request information from the Internal Revenue Service of the Treasury Department of the United States regarding any person for the purpose of assessing the personal property tax.


(Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-212, § 16, 34 DCR 850; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-1535.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority pursuant to Law 6-212, see Mayor’s Order 87-222, September 28, 1987.


§ 47–1536. Enforcement. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-212, § 25, 34 DCR 850; Feb. 5, 1994, D.C. Law 10-68, § 43(a), 40 DCR 6311; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 406(u)(2), 48 DCR 334.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-1536.