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Common Individual Income Taxpayer Errors

Each filing season, the Office of Tax and Revenue sends back tax returns because of errors made by taxpayers. This delays the processing of those returns and the issuance of refunds. Other errors, while not requiring the returns to be sent back, may also delay processing. Please read the helpful tips below to avoid common errors when preparing and filing your individual income tax return.

Individual Income Tax Returns

  • The return itself is not complete.
  • Failure to print legibly when making letter and number entries. (Use black ink and print all CAPITAL letters)
  • Failure to double check math computations.
  • Failure to round cents to the nearest whole dollar. (Enter whole dollar amounts only)
  • Failure to enter your complete and/or correct Social Security number.
  • Failure to indicate the filing status in the personal information section of the return.
  • Failure to take same type deduction (itemized or standard) on your District tax return as that taken on your Federal tax return. 
  • Use DC Schedule J to figure your tax only if you are filing Married Filing Separately on the same return.
  • Required schedules are either incomplete or missing.
  • Failure to enter on the Schedule S form your dependent(s)' information - name, Social Security number, date of birth, and relationship to you.
  • Failure to sign the tax return. Both signatures are required when filing jointly.
  • Failure to staple required items to your tax return. Staple the following items to your tax return in the order and location shown in the D-40 instructions:
    • Any Form 1009 showing DC Withholdings
    • Form 1099 R - Distribution from Pension, Annuities, Retirement, etc.
    • Form W-2 - Wage and Tax Statement
  • Failure to include on your tax payment your Social Security number, the tax year and the number of the form you are filing.
  • Make sure that you receive written confirmation from the tax preparer that your electronically filed DC return was accepted.
  • Failure to complete your return so that we can determine whether there is an additional tax liability, a refund due or that the tax due has been paid in full.
  • If you are not filing your Individual Income or Fiduciary tax return by the April 15 due date, you must file form FR-127 Extension of Time to File by the April 15 due date. You must complete the form FR-127 and pay the full amount of any tax due. Penalty and interest charges may be assessed if the payment accompanying the extension request is less than the amount of tax due when you actually file your return.

Homeowner and Renter Property Tax Credit Return

If you file a DC Schedule H (Homeowner and Renter Property Tax Credit Return) to claim a property tax credit:

  • Include the square, suffix and lot numbers if you own the real property for which you are claiming the credit;
  • Include your landlord's name, address and telephone number and the dollar amount of your rent for the year if claiming the credit based on rent paid;
  • Report income earned by all those living in your household, and include their names, Social Security numbers and telephone numbers; and
  • Include a completed and signed physician's certificate when claiming a credit for blindness or disability for the first time.

Do not file a DC Schedule H to claim the property tax credit if you lived in public or subsidized housing during the year.

If you have questions, feel free to call or visit our Customer Service Administrators for additional assistance.