Menu Close

Washington D.C. Office of Tax & Revenue (OTR) Collections

Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) Collections Division overseas delinquent taxpayer accounts. If full payment is not received within 15 days on an initial balance due notice, OTR send a notice of enforcement by certified mail to your last known address. It is important to read all Correspondence from OTR as these Notices contain important dates and information that may affect your rights.

If you do not respond to letters or notices and your account continues to be delinquent, it is then assigned to a Revenue Officer for collection. Occasionally, OTR may outsource enforcement to third party Collection Agencies, the most common being MuniServices.


If a taxpayer cannot pay their balance in full, OTR will allow them to pay in installments, generally not to exceed 24 months (MuniServices may accept longer). Interest continues to accrue and taxpayers are expected to pay their current taxes concurrently. If installment payments are not made timely, OTR may collect the taxes due by seizing wages or bank accounts. Once an installment agreement is reached, a lien determination will be made. Any state and federal refunds are subject to interception and will be applied to outstanding tax liabilities.

OTR may file a tax lien covering all tax debt, recorded at the District’s Recorder of Deeds office, where it becomes public record and appears on your credit report. This enables the District to seize property (bank accounts, wages, and personal property) to pay the debt. A tax lien can appear on a taxpayer’s credit history for 10 years, even after the debt is marked paid in full.

OTR may waive or cancel delinquent return penalties if you show reasonable cause, defined as your exercising ordinary business care and prudence in the execution of your tax obligations, but some uncontrollable outside event (such as incapacitation or loss of records) prevented you from complying. The request should be submitted in writing and include any supporting documentation and explain the circumstances that caused your return to be late. Generally, OTR does not abate interest charges unless there is a considerable delay on the part of the District.

OTR has a Voluntary Disclosure Program encouraging businesses and individuals that are not in compliance with District tax laws to voluntarily come forward to bring their accounts into compliance. You are eligible for the program only if you have not received a Notice in the past regarding your particular tax issue. If you are accepted in the program, OTR will waive civil penalties if the tax and interest is paid in full, with a lookback period of generally 3 years.

Washington DC Office of Tax & Revenue: https://otr.cfo.dc.gov/

What Does The DC Office Of Tax And Revenue (OTR) Provide & What Is It Responsible For?

tax time scale
The DC Office of Tax and Revenue provides taxpayers with timely and concise information regarding their tax obligations and liabilities via a proactive outreach program.

The office provides taxpayers with practical methods of remitting any taxes that are due and resolving all account matters with multiple different ways that they can file their tax returns.

As a branch of the District of Columbia’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer, the DC Office of Tax and Revenue collects the required amount of tax due through its Collection Division.

They correctly account for all revenues within the District of Columbia, while also minimizing costs to the government as well as the burden on taxpayers.

The DC Office of Tax and Revenue encourages voluntary submission, but also actively searches for and identifies any instances of non-compliance and will use appropriate enforcement action whenever it is required. This can include anything from inaccurately reporting assessments to late payment of tax liabilities tardily, and failing to file altogether – By ascertaining the least costly and the most effective methods to ensure that taxpayers within the District of Columbia file their tax returns accurately, before paying their tax liabilities on time are both crucial to the protection of the state’s tax revenue stream.

To ensure there is always high public confidence in the operation of the tax system works, the DC Office of Tax and Revenue exhibits a critically high level of organizational integrity. Meticulous maintenance of DC’s overall revenue accounts and correct allocation of taxpayer accounts are crucial to financing all the operating costs of the city for prompt deposit of remittances. Below are some of the services provided by the Office of Tax and Revenue in the District of Columbia.

Tax Forms & Other Publications

The District of Columbia’s Office of Tax and Revenue provides a wide range of printable forms as well as electronic filing services which help to make filing your taxes easier and faster. By offering access to these tax forms and other publications both in person and online ultimately provides you with an expedient turnaround time for your tax refund.

Check The Status Of Your Tax Refund

You can get information from the Office of Tax and Revenue about your tax refund in person and online. This allows you to confirm that your tax return has been received, ascertain that your final refund amount coincides with the amount that you claimed on your refund, as well as if your refund has been sent out to you or not. Simply provide your social security number in person or use it to log on online to check that the refund amount you provided on your tax return is correct.

Real Property Tax Service Center & Database Search

The Real Property Tax Administration within the Office of Tax and Revenue is responsible for assessment of properties, including the administration of the tax relief program, all aspects of tax billings, land recordation, and any changes to addresses and ownership of real properties within the District of Columbia.

The real property tax database is managed by the Office of Tax and Revenue which provides access to real property information online, which was formerly only available by manually searching in person at public libraries within the District of Columbia. You can access information for more than 180,000 parcels, including property values, assessment rolls, and many others using the links provided on their website. Alternatively, you can also conduct manual searches through the real property tax database in person at either the Office of Tax and Revenue customer service center or at any public library within the District of Columbia.

Recorder of Deeds Services

Another administration within the District of Columbia’s Office of Tax and Revenue is the Recorder of Deeds. This is the official repository of all general public instruments and land records for the entirety of the District of Columbia. The Recorder of Deeds office is ultimately responsible for maintaining records for public inspection and the collection of all transfer and recordation taxes, as well as all filing fees on instruments that have been recorded.

Reconsideration of a Decision Requests

recording of records for tax purposes

Sometimes a taxpayer may disagree with decisions that have been made by Collection Division the Office of Tax and Revenue in the District of Columbia. These may include a notice of refund intercept, a rejection of an offer in compromise, denial of a request for a penalty waiver, or an offset for child support or student loans payments. All you need to do is prepare and mail in a written request and you will be issued a response within 30 calendar days.

If you have any questions regarding what the DC Office Of Tax and Revenue provides and what it is responsible for, or general taxation question, get in touch with us today.

What Is A Voluntary Disclosure Program?

The Voluntary Disclosure Program is a legal agreement between the DC Office Of Tax And Revenue and businesses and individuals who are not in compliance with their District tax laws. These individuals and companies will be able to satisfy any and all of their outstanding tax liabilities through this program while completing all necessary registrations within the state. After completion of the program, they will then have ongoing monthly, quarterly, or annual reporting requirements depending on the volume of activity within DC.

Regardless of why the tax liabilities are outstanding, the Voluntary Disclosure Program is the best way to bring these previously unmet tax responsibilities into compliance. The Voluntary Disclosure Program is the best method for individuals and companies alike to initiate contact whenever action is required to become compliant for sales tax initially and then continue communicating in future.

What Are The Benefits The Voluntary Disclosure Program?

There are several major benefits of taking advantage of the Voluntary Disclosure Program, such as reduction or elimination of penalties. Also, cancellation of any interest in some cases that is due on unremitted or uncollected taxes—especially compared to the increased penalties that would be assessed and applied if they are identified as not being in compliance with their taxes to the DC Office Of Tax And Revenue.

voluntary disclosure program announcement
Also beneficial for many is that the Voluntary Disclosure Program limits the lookback period to only a specific number of years.

That being said, the lookback period for anyone who has been collecting taxes but not remitting them will include all periods they collected taxes.

Both individuals and businesses who take advantage of the Voluntary Disclosure Program can provide their own estimation of their previous liabilities. Excel spreadsheets are routinely accepted in lieu of filing any previous tax returns for the calculation of outstanding tax liabilities, which obviously simplifies the whole process.

The DC Office Of Tax And Revenue is willing to make these concessions to ease the whole process because encouraging voluntary compliance for tax collection in the future and ongoing reporting responsibilities are their main objectives. By foregoing these types of formalities along with some of the revenue, they are able to bring taxpayers back to the table.

Ultimately, the Voluntary Disclosure Program provides a streamlined process that allows for an effective and safe method to become compliant with tax reporting requirements by disclosing any outstanding amounts. Just remember that the key part of this program is that it must be a voluntary admission. That means that if the DC Office Of Tax And Revenue reaches out to an individual about their tax deficiencies, they will obviously be unable to view it as coming forward voluntarily.

What Are The Downsides Of The Voluntary Disclosure Program?

While Voluntary Disclosure Programs can be greatly beneficial for many, they also have their downsides. For example, the Voluntary Disclosure Program creates a legal agreement between the DC Office Of Tax And Revenue and the individual or business, and once it has been accepted, there is a strict timeline for when the tax liabilities are due. These deadlines will usually vary which can be confusing but hiring a skilled DC tax consultant will know when these deadlines are and be sure they are met on time. Plus, an experienced tax consultant will also be familiar with the policies of DC’s Voluntary Disclosure Agreement program so that they can ensure these and any other risks are eliminated.

How Can We Help?

US President Abraham Lincoln face on the five dollar bill macro, 5 USD, US money close up under magnifying glass

Ensuring you are always completely up to date with tax compliance can be a challenge for individuals and companies alike. But the alternative of leaving unresolved tax responsibilities will only lead to much larger complexities in the future and other issues that make things far more expensive in the long run.

While filing for the Voluntary Disclosure Program with the DC Office Of Tax And Revenue in Washington doesn’t necessarily require assistance from a tax consultant, there are some benefits in hiring one to assist you throughout the process. By hiring a tax consultant as representation during the application process for Voluntary Disclosure, taxpayers can remain anonymous.

If you’re thinking about applying for the Voluntary Disclosure Program, eliminations in penalties and or reductions in interest can save you from paying a large amount in back taxes. Just remember that if an individual taxpayer or other legal entity has already been contacted by the DC Office Of Tax And Revenue or any of its representatives, they will become ineligible for the Voluntary Disclosure Program.