Elderly Circuit Breaker


District of Columbia



Variations in Receipt of Benefit

Benefit Varies with Income

Minimum Tax Amount Must be Paid

Benefit Type

Circuit Breaker


The benefit is a refundable income tax credit equal to the amount by which real property taxes paid (or 20% of rent paid) on claimant’s principal place of residence for the taxable year exceeds 3% of gross household income. The credit must be reduced by the amount of any rental supplement payments, received by the claimant pursuant to the provisions Rental Housing Act of 1977. The credit shall not exceed a total of $1,000. The credit may be used to reduce other tax liabilities of the claimant before the remainder is refunded.

How is Benefit Disbursed

Credit to the income tax bill

Eligible Property Type


Characteristics of Eligible Property

Eligible property is limited to the claimant's dwelling house, whether owned or rented by the claimant, and so much of the land surrounding it as is reasonably necessary for use of the dwelling as a home. It may include a multi-unit building or a multi-purpose building and a part of the land upon which it is located.

Eligibility Criteria



Income Ceiling

Principal Residence


Description of Eligibility Criteria

Under previous program, blind and disabled received benefit. To be eligible, claimant must be an owner of record of a home in the District, or a lessee or tenant paying rent on a home in the District, during the entire calendar year preceding the year in which he files a claim for relief. The claimant must be 70 years of age or older and, together with his or her spouse or domestic partner, if any, provide 50% or more of the household gross income of the household of which he or she is a part. Household gross income must be less than $60,000.

Local Option in Adoption of Program

Local government is unable to exercise an option

Local Option Regarding Program Features

No local option regarding program features

State Funding for Local Tax Loss

Local government covers all of its tax loss

Description of State Funding for Tax Loss

The credit is administered through the personal income tax.

Record ID



The following changes will be in effect for the 2014 tax year for returns filed in 2015: (1) the maximum eligible income will be increased to $60,000; (2) rent constituting tax will be increased to 20% of rent paid; (3) the credit will not exceed $1,000; and (4) four income brackets will be reduced to just one with a property tax to income ratio threshold at 3%; (5) the eligibility age will be increased to 70 years old. These changes were made through 2013 DC Sess. Acts no. 19-649 § 2 and 2015 Sess. Acts no. 20-155, § 7052(b) and will affect credits disbursed in 2015. The blind and disabled are no longer identified separately under this program but can apply for the Regular Circuit Breaker program.


DC ST § 47-1806.06 (in effect for 2015)
Schedule H Homeowner and Renter Property Tax Credit Form (November 2014) Office of Tax and Revenue [http://otr.cfo.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/otr/publication/attachments/2014_Schedule%20H_11201412-2014.pdf Accessed on 05/24/2016] View Archived Source
2013 DC Sess. Acts no. 19-649 § 2; 2015 Sess. Acts no. 20-155

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