DC Office of Tax and Revenue can't hold on to their money

Yesterday, Harriette Walters was sentenced to 17 years in prison for her role as ringleader in the largest embezzlement in the history of the city. Walters and 10 others have been convicted in the scheme that stole more than $48 million from the city government. Walters operation siphoned the money via fraudulent tax refund checks. Walters was a former manager at the Office of Tax and Revenue.

Today, the story breaks that OTR is sending out "mistaken" tax refund checks to people who owed taxes. WTOP has some details:
D.C.'s Office of Tax and Revenue has mistakenly sent refund checks to residents who actually owe taxes. In one case, a resident received a check for $2,886 -- the exact amount he owed.

The resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, received the check in early June and returned it with a letter alerting the chief financial officer to the error.

"The amount represents my total tax liability for 2008, which I have paid, not the amount due me in refund."

Natalie Wilson, a spokesperson for the Office of Tax and Revenue, says there was a "processing error" which is now being investigated.

"We don't believe this is widespread."

But D.C. Councilmember David Catania (I-At-Large) isn't so sure, considering one of the checks was sent to his home.
Now I'm not even sure what sort of "processing error" could result in a check being cut and sent out for the same amount of a tax bill that was already paid.

I've heard a good deal of stories about dealing with OTR, with tax payments being applied to the incorrect tax year, resulting in the IRS withholding federal refunds, etc. Not to mention it's a horrific experience attempting to speak to anyone from OTR about these matters. God help the poor person here who tried to return that check. I can only imagine how that will screw up their 2009 taxes.

I imagine Marion Barry received a hefty "mistake" check from OTR as well.


  1. The entire DCRA is deplorable. Everyone is hostile to getting you processed and on your way. It is a stime suck, corrupt, and they can't even be bother to be helpful.

  2. I agree with everything that has been said here. I am not a resident of DC, and did some work there during 2008. It is December now and I am still fighting with the Office of Tax and Revenue to try and get my refund. I have never dealt with such incompetent people. They are absolutely terrible. Everytime I call in they ask for a new form to be mailed or faxed in. And this has been going on ALL year. It has been a horrific experience. Absolutely TERRIBLE!