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DC Tax Abatement (AKA Lower Income Homeownership Program): Can I apply for the program after my purchase?

I recently purchased a home in Washington, D.C. and did not apply for the DC Tax abatement program at that time.  Am I still able to apply for the program after I have purchased my home?

Yes. To qualify for the DC Tax Abatement Program after one’s purchase, the applicant must have met the income and purchase price requirements at the time the deed was recorded.  In addition, a second set of supporting documents will be required from the time of the application. Note that on October 1 of each fiscal year, the Recorder of Deeds publishes the new income and purchase requirements for the program.  So if the applicant’s deed was recorded during the period prior to October 1 and later applies after this date, the applicant must meet the requirements from both time periods.

The good news is that the applicant can apply within the first 3 years of owning the property so there is plenty of time to apply if it was missed at the closing.  However, please note that the 5 years of real property tax abatement, which is a key component of the program, does not get extended.  So if you apply two years after owning the property, you will only receive the tax abatement for three years.

Further, if you apply after the closing, you lose one of the program’s main benefits.  The recordation tax exemption and possible transfer tax credit can only be applied if the application is at the time of purchase.

To learn more about the program, you can visit the Recorder Deeds website here:  Lower Income Homeownership Tax Abatement Info. In addition, to access the most recent application and the program’s requirements, you can find it posted in the Forms section here: Form ROD 9 Recorder of Deed Tax Form.

For more information or questions related to the DC Tax Abatement program, please contact one of our attorneys at

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