The District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) announced today that it will begin to accept and process tax year 2020 individual income tax returns on Friday, February 12, 2021. OTR is following the lead of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Tax Returns Processing and Refunds:
OTR’s enhanced security measures to safeguard taxpayers’ identities and to combat theft/tax refund fraud may result in longer processing times for some tax returns and associated refunds. The processing window for selected tax returns could be up to six weeks.
OTR reminds taxpayers and tax professionals on what’s new for the tax filing season:
Tax Forms Changes:
- Standard Deductions: The District standard deductions conform to the federal standard deductions which have been increased as follows:
- $12,200 to $12,400 for single and married/registered domestic partner filers filing separately
- $18,350 to $18,650 for head of household filers
- $24,400 to $24,800 for married/registered domestic partners filing jointly and qualifying widow(er) with dependent child(ren) filers
- Earned Income Tax Credit: For tax year 2020, IRS rules allow a taxpayer to use either their 2019 or 2020 income to calculate their earned income to determine the amount of the Earned Income Tax Credit for 2020. District taxpayers should use the same figure to calculate their District Earned Income Tax Credit.
- Schedule H: Changes to the Homeowner and Renter Property Tax Credit amounts for tax year 2020 are as follows:
- Taxpayers that are not required to file a DC individual income tax return because their income is below the filing threshold, can file the Schedule H as a standalone return electronically at MyTax.DC.gov. First-time Schedule H filers must continue to file by paper
- Schedule H federal Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) eligibility threshold for under age 70 increased to $55,700
- Schedule H federal AGI eligibility threshold for age 70 and older increased to $75,900
- Schedule ELC: Keep Child Care Affordable Tax Credit
- The maximum credit amount has been increased to $1,010
- Taxpayers must include the Child Development Facility License Number (Line 7a) issued by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) in order to receive the credit, unless the facility is operated by the federal government or by a private provider on federal property
- Opportunity Zones: Created in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are a federal program that provide tax incentives for investments in new businesses and commercial projects in designated communities. For District tax purposes, the deferral and basis adjustments will only be allowed if the Qualified Opportunity Zone meets certain criteria and is approved by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. (For information on Opportunity Zones in DC visit https://dmped.dc.gov/node/682042).
The deadline to file income tax returns for tax year 2020 is Thursday, April 15, 2021, unless extended by the OTR.
OTR will no longer prepare District of Columbia individual income tax returns at its Walk-In Center located at 1101 4th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024. OTR recommends the following free tax preparation services available throughout the District of Columbia and online:
- VITA: By appointment only: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax preparation to low-moderate income taxpayers. Taxpayers can locate the VITA site nearest them by visiting http://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/ or call 1-800-906-9887
- AARP (Tax-Aide Locator): By appointment only: The Tax-Aide Program offers free tax help for everyone, with priority assistance to taxpayers who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions, and retirement issues unique to seniors. During the filing season, taxpayers can locate a site nearest them by calling 1-888-227-7669
- Self-Help Tax Assistance: OTR offers two convenient and easy options for residents to file their tax returns. Visit otr.cfo.dc.gov to learn more.
Taxpayers can obtain District of Columbia tax forms and instructions by visiting MyTax.DC.gov or calling our Customer Service Center at (202) 727-4TAX. Orders will be processed and shipped by US mail. Tax forms can also be picked up at District libraries. To check the status of the libraries, please visit https://www.dclibrary.org/reopen.
For assistance with MyTax.DC.gov or account-related questions, please contact our e-Services Unit at (202) 759-1946 or email [email protected], 8:15 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday.
Note: OTR encourages taxpayers to file their returns electronically as the United States Postal Service is currently experiencing delays due to high shipping volumes. This may cause delays in processing paper returns and/or taxpayers receiving their refund check. Taxpayers can avoid these delays by filing their return electronically and requesting that their refund be direct deposited to their account.