Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter III. Refund Offset.


§ 47–4431. Refund offset.

(a) The Mayor, within the applicable period of limitations set forth in § 47-4302, may credit the amount of the overpayment of a tax, including interest allowed thereon, against the liability for a tax or an installment thereof (whether the tax was assessed as a deficiency or otherwise) of the person who made the overpayment and shall, subject to subsections (c) and (d) of this section, refund any balance to the person.

(b) The Mayor may credit the amount of the overpayment, including interest, in the following order of priority:

(1) Liability for District of Columbia taxes;

(2) Liability for United States taxes;

(3) Liability for state, local, or municipal taxes if a reciprocal tax refund offset agreement with the District under § 47-4440(e) is in effect at the time the refund is to be issued; and

(4) Other liabilities set forth in this section.

(c) The Mayor shall credit the amount of the overpayment of an individual who has been determined:

(1) To owe overdue child support, as defined in section 466(e) of the Social Security Act, approved August 16, 1984 (98 Stat. 1310; 42 U.S.C. § 666(e)), for purposes of enforcing an order under any state plan approved under Part D of Title IV of the Social Security Act, approved January 4, 1975 (88 Stat. 2351; 42 U.S.C. § 651 et seq.), for persons identified by the Mayor under subsection (d) of this section;

(2) To be in default under the provisions of federal student loan programs as determined under subsection (e) of this section;

(3) To owe to the District a repayment for benefit overpayment under Chapter 1 of Title 51 as determined under subsection (f) of this section; or

(4) To owe delinquent taxes, fees, fines or other liabilities to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

(d) Upon request, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia shall provide the Mayor with the names, and any other available identifying information, of individuals whom the Superior Court of the District of Columbia has determined are more than 60 days in arrears in court-ordered child support payments.

(e) For purposes of collecting an amount determined to be in default under federal student loan programs, the university shall provide the Mayor with the names, and any other available identifying information, of individuals whom the university has determined to be in default. A determination and notice of default under federal student loan programs shall be made as follows:

(1) The determination of whether an individual is in default under subsection (c)(2) of this section and the defaulted principal amount outstanding shall be made in accordance with the terms of the loan.

(2) Immediately upon the university’s determination that an individual is in default, the university shall provide the individual with written notice of its determination by registered mail. The individual shall have 10 days from receipt of the notice to inform the university of the individual’s intention to contest the validity of the determination.

(3) Upon receipt of notice that an individual intends to contest the validity of the university’s determination, the university shall provide the individual with a hearing in accordance with the provisions of subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2.

(f) For purposes of collecting an amount determined to be an overpayment of unemployment compensation, the Department of Employment Services, through its Director, shall provide the Mayor with the names, and any other identifying information, of individuals whom the Director has determined to have received benefit overpayments. Determination and notice of overpayment of unemployment compensation shall be made in accordance with the provisions of §§ 51-111, 51-112, and 51-119.

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

(1) “University” means the University of the District of Columbia established by § 38-1202.01(b);

(2) “Federal student loan programs” means the programs authorized by the National Defense Education Act of 1958, approved September 2, 1958 (72 Stat. 1580; 20 U.S.C. § 401 et seq.), the Higher Education Act of 1965, approved Nov. 8, 1965 (79 Stat. 1219; 20 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq.), and Part B of Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act, approved September 4, 1964 (78 Stat. 913; 42 U.S.C. § 297a et seq.).

(3) “Unemployment compensation” means the unemployment compensation benefits paid under the program established by Chapter 1 of Title 51 and administered under Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1980, effective April 17, 1980.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 405(b), 48 DCR 334; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-213, § 33(cc), 49 DCR 8140; Sept. 20, 2012, D.C. Law 19-168, § 7082, 59 DCR 8025.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-875, § 47-4433, and § 47-4435.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-213, in subsecs. (c)(3), (e)(3), (f), (g)(1) and (g)(3), validated previously made technical corrections.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-168 added (c)(4) and made related changes.


§ 47–4432. Joint and combined returns; real property refund due to more than one owner.

If a joint income tax return is filed, the Mayor shall separate the amount due to the spouse who owes delinquent taxes from the spouse who does not owe delinquent taxes based upon the proportion of gross income of each spouse. In applying the tax refund against delinquent taxes owed by a spouse, the tax refund of the spouse who does not owe delinquent taxes shall not be credited against the liability of the spouse who owes delinquent taxes. If a separate income tax return on a combined individual form prescribed by the Mayor is filed, the tax refund of the spouse who does not owe delinquent taxes shall not be credited against the liability of the spouse who owes delinquent taxes. If a real property tax refund is due to more than one owner of real property, the Mayor shall separate the amount of tax refund of the owners who are liable for delinquent taxes from the owners who are not liable for delinquent taxes determined on the basis of each owner’s ownership percentage in the real property. For the purposes of this section, the term “spouse” shall include a domestic partner who files under § 47-1805.01(d)[(d) repealed].


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 405(b), 48 DCR 334; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-292, § 2(g), 54 DCR 1080.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-4433.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-292 added a sentence to the end of the section providing that the term “spouse” shall include a domestic partner who files under § 47-1805.01(d).


§ 47–4433. Notice and protest.

(a) If the refund offset concerns (1) the existence or amount of an arrearage for court-ordered child support, a default under a federal student loan program, or the overpayment of unemployment compensation benefits under § 47-4431(c), or (2) the division of a joint refund under § 47-4432, the taxpayer shall have the right to contest the proposed referral for offset of the tax refund, the offset of the tax refund, or the apportionment of the tax refund. Before a refund offset is disbursed, the Mayor shall notify the taxpayer in writing that he or she may file a protest with the Office of Administrative Hearings to challenge the proposed refund offset within 30 days of service of the notice.

(b) Any notice of refund offset described in subsection (a) of this section shall be governed by the procedures set forth in § 47-4312 for assessments of deficiencies.

(c) The Office of Administrative Hearings shall refuse to consider a protest if:

(1) The protest solely concerns an issue which has been previously decided and no new facts or evidence have been provided; or

(2) The protest is not filed within the period set forth in the notice.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 405(b), 48 DCR 334; Dec. 7, 2004, D.C. Law 15-217, § 4(n), 51 DCR 9126.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-217, in subsec. (a), substituted “that he or she may file a protest with the Office of Administrative Hearings to challenge the proposed refund offset within 30 days of service of the notice.” for “and provide a period of at least 30 days after the notice is sent to the taxpayer to file a protest.”; rewrote subsec. (b); and, in subsec. (c), substituted “Office of Administrative Hearings” for “Mayor”. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) had read as follows: ’(b) If a protest is filed within the period set forth in the notice, an administrative hearing shall be granted by the Mayor. The Mayor shall promptly notify the taxpayer of the final determination of the protest. If no protest is filed within the period, a refund offset or apportionment, as determined by the Mayor, shall be final.”

Emergency Legislation

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


§ 47–4434. Return of refund in certain cases.

If the Mayor determines that all or a portion of a tax refund should not have been offset, or that the division of a joint tax refund was incorrect, the Mayor shall return the excess amount to the taxpayer within 30 days of the determination.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 405(b), 48 DCR 334.)


§ 47–4435. Deposit of offset amount; application when more than one debt.

(a) The amount offset for liabilities other than District of Columbia or United States taxes shall be deposited with:

(1) The agency of the District responsible for administering the child support program as authorized by Part D of Title IV of the Social Security Act, approved January 4, 1995 (88 Stat. 2351; 42 U.S.C. § 651 et seq.), and shall be disbursed in accordance with section 651 of the Social Security Act, approved January 4, 1995 (88 Stat. 2356; 42 U.S.C. § 657) and the regulations promulgated thereunder;

(2) The university (for refunds withheld from individuals in default under a federal student loan program) and applied to the repayment of the amount of principal determined to be in default; or

(3) The Department of Employment Services and applied to the repayment of the Unemployment Compensation Fund.

(b) If the Mayor is notified that a taxpayer owes more than one debt that is subject to an offset of a tax refund under § 47-4431(c), the Mayor shall apply the portion of tax refund of a taxpayer remaining after application to satisfy in the following order:

(1) To satisfy any court-ordered child support under § 47-4431(c)(1);

(2) To satisfy the default under a federal student loan under § 47-4431(c) (2); and

(3) To satisfy overpayments of unemployment compensation under § 47-4431(c)(3).


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 405(b), 48 DCR 334.)


§ 47–4436. Applicability in certain cases.

(a) The provisions of this subchapter relating to the offset of tax refunds of individuals who are in arrears with court-ordered child support payments shall apply to income tax refunds issued after September 18, 1982.

(b) The provisions of this subchapter relating to the offset of tax refunds of individuals in default under the federal student loan programs shall apply to income tax refunds issued for tax years 1987 and thereafter.

(c) The provisions of this section relating to an offset of tax refunds of individuals who received overpayments of unemployment compensation shall apply to income tax refunds issued for Tax Year 1993 and subsequent years.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 405(b), 48 DCR 334.)


§ 47–4437. Right of appeal to Superior Court.

A person aggrieved by a final determination of the Mayor in accordance with this subchapter may, within 6 months from the date of the determination, 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, and 47-3306 through 47-3308.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 405(b), 48 DCR 334.)


§ 47–4438. Priority.

The offset of a tax refund against the delinquent taxes for which a taxpayer is liable shall have priority over the offset of a tax refund requested by the United States.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 405(b), 48 DCR 334.)


§ 47–4439. Other methods not precluded.

The collection remedy under this subchapter shall be in addition to, and not in substitution for, any other remedy available by law.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 405(b), 48 DCR 334.)


§ 47–4440. Reciprocal refund offset.

(a) The chief taxing official of a state, local, or municipal government may certify to the Mayor the existence of a tax debt and request that the Mayor withhold a refund due to a taxpayer to satisfy the debt owed by the taxpayer to the requesting state, local, or municipal government.

(b) A request under subsection (a) of this section shall not be honored unless the state, local, or municipal government provides a reciprocal right of credit to the District of Columbia.

(c) Certification of a tax debt shall include:

(1) The full name and current address of the taxpayer;

(2) The taxpayer’s social security number or federal identification number;

(3) The amount of the debt, including a detailed statement showing tax, interest, and penalty for each taxable period; and

(4) A statement that all rights to administrative remedies or appeals have been exhausted or lapsed and that the assessment of tax, interest, and penalty is final and enforceable.

(d) Upon receipt of a request under subsection (a) of this section, the Mayor shall notify the taxpayer (and in the case of a refund of a tax imposed upon the income of individuals, a spouse (or domestic partner) with whom the taxpayer filed a joint return). The notice shall include a copy of the certification by the chief taxing official of the requesting state, local, or municipal government.

(e) The Mayor may enter into agreements with the chief taxing official of a state, local or municipal government with respect to the operation of this section, including safeguards against the disclosure or inappropriate use of any information which personally identifies the taxpayer.


(June 9, 2001, D.C. Law 13-305, § 405(b), 48 DCR 334; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-292, § 2(h), 54 DCR 1080.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-4431.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-292 substituted “spouse (or domestic partner)” for “spouse”.