Common Individual Income Tax Return Errors

tax-return-errorsThe Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) would like to inform taxpayers of the common errors to avoid when filing their individual income tax returns. Errors on tax returns delay processing times and issuance of refunds.  Additionally, OTR strongly urges taxpayers to consider filing returns electronically.  E-filing is faster and ensures less errors than mailing in returns.

Please read the helpful tips below to avoid common errors when preparing your tax returns this tax filing season.

Individual Income Tax Returns

  • Failure to complete the tax return
  • Failure to enter your complete and/or correct Social Security number
  • Failure to double check math calculations
  • Failure to select the correct filing status or not selecting a filing status (e.g. single, married)
  • Failure to clearly print your name, current address, including zip code directly on the tax return
  • Failure to enter on the form Schedule S (Supplemental Information and Dependents Return) your dependent(s)’ information – name, Social Security number, date of birth, and relationship to you
  • Failure to sign and date 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
  • Make sure that you receive written confirmation from the tax preparer that your electronically filed DC return was accepted
  • Failure to include on your tax payment your Social Security number, the tax year and the number of the form you are filing
  • Failure to prorate correctly or failure to subtract the income received during the period of non- residence


  • Failure to take same type deduction (itemized or standard) on your District tax return as that taken on your Federal tax return
  • Selecting the standard deduction when itemizing
  • Entering the incorrect number of exemptions
  • Not attaching form Schedule S (Supplemental Information and Dependents Return)

DC tax credits and payments:

  • Computing the tax $100,000 or over incorrectly
  • Failure to attach a completed Calculation J (Tax computation for married or registered domestic partners filing separately on the same DC return)
  • Childcare credit amounts computed incorrectly
  • Failure to attach a Form Schedule U (Additional Miscellaneous Credits and Contributions)
  • Low income and Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) selected together
  • Taxpayers can only claim 40% of the federal EITC

DC withholding:

  • W-2s and 1099s not attached or filing without all of the W-2s and 1099s

Estimated tax:

  • Claimed but not paid or paid to the IRS
  • Refund issued because the overpayment was not designated as a carry forward

Extension payment:

  • Overstated or not made at all

Amended return:

  • Failure to check as an amended return (OTR’s system enters as a duplicated return)

Head of household:

  • Head of household claimed without dependents or a qualifying child
  • All supporting documents should be attached when submitting the tax 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; and
  • Report the federal Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of the members of your tax filing unit

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

As a reminder, you can check the status of your refund 24/7 via Additionally, by signing up, you can make/schedule payments, view notices sent from OTR, and contact e-Services for a quick response to online inquiries.

OTR Quick Links

OTR Customer Service Administration FAQs Tutorials

OTR Twitter Page – @DC_OTR

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