Washington, D.C., March 30, 2015 -- A Miller & Chevalier team consisting of Member George Hani, Senior Associate Andrew Howlett and Associate Theresa Androff achieved a successful outcome on behalf of a client following representation before the District of Columbia Real Property Tax Appeals Commission (RPTAC).
The client, a 76-year old woman living in the District of Columbia, has two properties: one she has owned since 1967 and a more recently acquired property. She moved into the more recently acquired property to better care for her ill husband, and following his death , moved back into the first property. The District of Columbia grants certain property tax relief -- the homestead deduction and the senior citizen tax relief -- to seniors who own property that is their primary residence. The client diligently and timely applied for this relief on the appropriate property each time she moved, including when she returned to the first property in 2010. However, The District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) determined that she was not entitled to this relief, which led to a bill of more than $18,000 worth of back taxes, penalties and interest. The large amount of the bill was a severe financial burden on the client, and likely would have required her to borrow money or sell her house in order to pay it.
Miller & Chevalier lawyers filed briefs on behalf of the client and argued her case before RPTAC, successfully challenging OTR's proffered evidence on both procedural and substantive grounds. RPTAC decided the case in favor of the client, concluding that the first property was her primary residence and she was eligible for both the homestead deduction and the senior citizen tax relief. As a result of this ruling, she was not required to pay the more than $18,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest.
"We are thrilled to have helped our client stay in her home, particularly considering she followed all of the rules," Howlett said. "Others in similar situations should be careful of the pitfalls and traps inherent in the programs, as taking advantage can be administratively difficult for a number of residents."
About Miller & Chevalier
Founded in 1920, Miller & Chevalier is a Washington, D.C. law firm with a global perspective and leading practices in Tax, Employee Benefits (including ERISA), International Law and Business, White Collar and Internal Investigations, Complex Litigation, and Government Affairs. In an era of big law, Miller & Chevalier is a top-ranked firm sharply focused on targeted areas that interact with the federal government. Over the past three years, the firm's lawyers have represented more than 40 percent of the Fortune 100, one-quarter of the Fortune 500 and approximately 30 percent of the Global 100. Based in Washington, D.C., a significant number of firm lawyers have held senior positions in the U.S. government and have written many of the regulations they currently help clients navigate. For more information on the firm, visit www.millerchevalier.com.
Laura Miller, Media Relations, Greentarget, 312-252-4104