DC Tax and Revenue Office Delays Payment of Property Tax on Hotels and Motels for ‘First Half of 2020’ in Response to COVID-19 | Cozen O’Connor


Similar to the rest of the District of Columbia government, the District Tax and Revenue Office (OTR) has made changes and extended deadlines for certain real estate and business sales and tax returns this year. Generally speaking, all OTR walk-in centers are closed and its building at 1101 4th Street SW is inaccessible. All staff work remotely and taxpayers are encouraged to pay their taxes online or by mail. Additionally, Wells Fargo closed many of its branches where property taxes could have been paid in person.

There are two notable updates to DC’s real estate payments in the wake of the COVID-19 emergency affecting landowners.

1. Property taxes are due today, March 31, 2020, for all real estate except hotels and motels

It is important to note that the deadline for paying property taxes “first semester 2020” for real estate [except for hotels and motels discussed below] has not changed and remains due March 31, 2020 (today). Therefore, for all real estate that is not considered a “hotel” or “motel” – payment of “first half of 2020” property taxes, including Business Improvement District (BID) taxes – is due. today, March 31, 2020.

The OTR has extended the date on which property owners can file tax appeals to April 30, 2020. This 30-day extension gives property owners more time to file an appeal if they feel their proposed assessment for 2021 does not reflect not the market value of their property.

2. Property taxes on hotels and motels postponed to June 30, 2020

Recognizing the impact the coronavirus emergency will have on the hospitality industry, the DC Council’s COVID-19 emergency law of March 17, 2020 extended the “first half of 2020” property tax due date for hotels and motels as of June 30, 2020. This should also apply to BID taxes on hotels and motels located in BIDs.

Tax notice OTR 2020-01 defines “the terms”Hotel‘ and ‘motel” to designate a property part of which is classified for the tax year 2020 as class 2 property under § 47-813, [and] is commercially improved and occupied, and is a hotel, motel, inn or other place which is regularly used for the purpose of providing rooms, lodgings or lodgings for transient persons.

Payment of all property taxes for hotels and motels is not due until June 30, 2020. In his “President’s Update,” on March 17, 2020, DC Chairman Phil Mendelson said said the hotel / motel real estate late payment “is not a tax cut, but essentially a short-term interest-free business loan totaling approximately $ 266 million. We considered a larger or longer tax deferral and did not go any further due to the cash flow requirement of the district government.


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