(Washington, DC) Mayor Anthony A. Williams and the DC Office of Tax and Revenue are making tax filing easier for District taxpayers as they kick off the 2002 tax filing season. The District is the first US city to offer individual taxpayers and businesses access to full tax services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, online. Also new this year are redesigned D-40 and D-40EZ tax forms that are easier to read and complete, automated processing for more accurate returns, a communications outreach campaign targeted to the growing diversity of District taxpayers, and an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit, providing extra help for low income residents.
"I'm pleased that we're leading the nation in providing tax services to our citizens," said Mayor Williams. "Now there are more tax filing options available for DC taxpayers than ever before. This online service is an indication that we are 'making government work' for District residents."
New This Filing Season
- Redesigned D-40 and D-40EZ Tax Forms
Sporting a bright new color and easier to understand instructions, the D-40 and D-40EZ tax forms are redesigned to make filing simpler and "less taxing" for everyone. Tables are shaded to more easily identify numbers. There is more writing space, and boxes are divided into fields for reading ease and legibility. Calculations now replace dual column formatting. Areas are expanded to include taxpayer names for married couples. Social Security numbers have been eliminated from the address label. Dollar amounts must be lined up to the right-most box, and dollars are to be rounded to the nearest whole dollar. There are also less restrictive eligibility requirements for the D-40EZ.
- Earned Income Tax Credit
The DC Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for District taxpayers has increased from 10 percent to 25 percent of the federal credit, raising the maximum DC EITC from last year's $389 to $1,002 for the 2002 tax season. The EITC could provide taxpayers with a refund, even if they do not owe any tax. The DC EITC is easy to compute. "Married Filing Combined Separate" filers (the new form calls it "Married Filing Separately on Same Return") can now claim the EITC. Married filers filing completely separate returns still may not claim the EITC. Eligible taxpayers are reminded to attach their federal EIC schedule when filing for the DC EITC credit. Taxpayers claiming the EITC cannot also claim the Low Income Credit.
- Individual Online Tax Filing Available
The successful expansion of the Electronic Taxpayer Service Center (eTSC), the District's online tax filing system, will soon allow individual taxpayers to file their taxes using the Internet. Beginning at the end of January, District taxpayers will be able to register for this free service by accessing the Mayor's website at www.dc.gov, the Chief Financial Officer's website at www.cfo.dc.gov, or www.taxpayerservicecenter.com.
- Federal/State E-File Program
The District of Columbia also offers a full Federal/State Electronic Filing (E-File) program for individual income tax returns. There are two ways in which taxpayers can file electronically - through a tax practitioner or through a commercial online filing service, which allows taxpayers to transmit their DC and federal returns electronically from their home computer for a fee. DC E-File offers a direct deposit option for taxpayers receiving refunds. The refund will be electronically deposited into the taxpayer's account within two weeks of return receipt. The DC E-File program had an error rate of less than one percent last year.
For more information and to obtain E-File forms and publications, visit our website or contact the electronic filing program coordinator, at (202) 442-6461.
- Touch-Tone TeleFile Service: Single, No Dependents, Income less than $100,000
OTR offers TeleFiling, which allows District taxpayers to use a touch-tone telephone to file their taxes. The TeleFile phone number is (800) 743-3320. To qualify, taxpayers must be single, have no dependents, have income that is less than $100,000, and have been a resident of the District from January 1 through December 31. Conditions that preclude a person from TeleFiling include itemizing deductions, filing federal business schedules, making estimated payments, having withholdings from any state other than DC, claiming an exemption for being 65 or older or for being legally blind, filing Schedule H and claiming the Low Income Credit or the DC Earned Income Tax Credit, and having income from sources other than the following: wages, salaries, tips (no more than five Form W-2s); taxable scholarship or fellowship grants; interest and dividends ($400 maximum); or unemployment compensation.
- Paying Taxes by Credit Card
Taxpayers are able to pay their taxes using a Discover/NOVUS, MasterCard, or American Express card. To do this, the taxpayer calls a toll-free number, available seven days a week, 24 hours a day at (800) 2PAY-TAX, (272-9829) then enters 6000, the District of Columbia's jurisdiction code, and completes the telephone transaction directly with the credit card processing vendor, Official Payments Corporation. The Office of Tax and Revenue will receive the credit card transaction from the vendor and immediately apply it to the taxpayer's account. Official Payments Corporation will charge taxpayers a 2.5 percent fee for this service.
- One-Stop Customer Service Center
Located on the first floor of 941 North Capitol Street, NE, just a few blocks from Union Station, is the state-of-the-art Customer Service Center, where taxpayers can resolve all individual, real property and business tax-related issues in one location. Customer service representatives are available to assist Monday through Friday from 8:15 am to 4:30 pm. The center has 13 customer service windows, six public access terminals and four hearing rooms for taxpayers needing to consult with a customer service representative regarding complex tax issues.
- Customer Service Telephone Center
Taxpayers may contact the Customer Service Telephone Information Center at (202) 727-4TAX (4829). Tax practitioners may call our help line at (202) 727-1435 for assistance. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday, except holidays, from 8:15 am until 4:30 pm.
- Free DC Individual Income Tax Return Preparation Services
OTR will prepare District individual income tax returns for free for anyone requesting this service. First, individuals must have a completed federal tax return before coming to the walk-in Customer Service Center on the first floor at 941 North Capitol Street, NE. Taxpayers are requested to have all of their documentation with them, such as a copy of their federal tax return, supporting W-2 forms and any other information required.
- Problem Resolution Office
The Problem Resolution Office is designed to assist taxpayers that have been unable to get their 2002 problems satisfactorily resolved within a reasonable amount of time. Independent from all compliance functions, the Problem Resolution Officer serves as an advocate for taxpayers within the office of Tax and Revenue by representing their interests and concerns. Examples of cases considered by the Problem Resolution Officer would include: the taxpayer has not received a response or action by the date promised, or at least 45 days have passed since the initial inquiry and the taxpayer has not received an acknowledgement or final response. For further information about this program, taxpayers may contact the problem resolution officer, at (202) 442-6348.
- Office of Tax Appeals
The mission of the Office of Tax Appeals is to provide District taxpayers an opportunity to resolve disputes with audit or collection determinations without litigation through an independent appeals process. Taxpayers that do not agree with an audit or collection determination must submit a written protest. A hearing will then be arranged to discuss the disputed issues. Within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing, the Office of Tax Appeals will issue a decision either ordering the audit or collection division to grant the relief the taxpayer was seeking or affirming the examination or collection action. To request appeals consideration, write to Grace Eng at the Office of Tax Appeals, 941 North Capitol Street, NE, lst Floor, Washington, DC 20002, or call (202) 442-6945.
- Voluntary Disclosure Program
The Voluntary Disclosure Program invites taxpayers who are not in full compliance with the District's tax laws to come forward on their own. If a taxpayer wants to participate in the Voluntary Disclosure Program, he or she must first contact Thomas Kerwin, assistant audit manager, by telephone at (202) 442-6578 or by fax at (202) 442-6883. The taxpayer must then file all delinquent returns and pay any taxes due, with interest. Civil penalties may then be waived, which may be up to 25 percent of the amount of taxes owed. To participate in this program, the taxpayer must have come forward on his or her own free will - without first having been contacted by the Office of Tax and Revenue or our compliance contractor, MBIA MuniServices Company.
- Where to Obtain Tax Forms
Tax forms may be obtained by accessing our website, by calling (202) 442-6546, or at any DC Public Library. You may also obtain tax forms at one of the following locations:
Location Time Address Municipal Center 6:30 am - 8:00 pm 300 Indiana Avenue, NW Union Square 8:15 am - 4:30 pm 941 North Capitol Street, NE Recorder of Deeds 8:30 am - 4:30 pm 515 D Street, NW Reeves Center 7:00 am - 7:00 pm 2000 14th Street, NW One Judiciary Square 7:00 am - 7:00 pm 441 4th Street, NW -1st Floor Martin Luther King 10:00 am - 5:30 pm 901 G Street, NW (Memorial Library) Penn Branch 8:15 am - 4:30 pm 3220 Pennsylvania Ave (Penn Branch Shopping Center)