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Reminder DC Sales Tax Due, and Regional and National Updates

July 16, 2020

In DC, we have heard from a number of you that you have received notices from OTR regarding sales and use tax filings, payments, and penalties accrued. OTR is sending these notices to businesses who they believe did not file their returns on time. As a reminder, sales taxes for February and March, normally due March 20 and April 20 respectively, could have been filed without payment on the regular date. You were still required to file on the original date, however the payment was deferred until July 20, 2020 without penalty. Filings and payments for April and beyond were due on their regular deadlines per OTR’s normal schedule

The city is well aware that many businesses and individuals are struggling with sales tax filings and payments for a variety of reasons and they have indicated that they want to work with everyone to find the best path forward.  RAMW has been working closely with the city on this matter, and there is a willingness to work with businesses, to reconsider case-by-case situations, and help resolve issues.

If any of the following apply to you, please follow the protocol outlined below. 

  • If you filed late and have questions
  • If you filed late and are facing a penalty
  • If you did not file at all and are not sure what to do next
  • If you filed, or did not file, and are dealing with challenges around outstanding payments 
  • If you are not able to meet the July 20th due date for June, or for deferred February and March sales and use tax payments, and need to discuss your options that may include a payment plan

Again, if any of the above apply to you, or you have additional questions not addressed above, the Office of Tax and Revenue encourages you to follow the below protocol as a starting point: 

  • STEP 1: Reach out to the Tax Office Collection Division Chief, Marc Aronin at, as well as the general compliance email at You can also reach the office by phone at (202) 724-5045.
  • STEP 2: If the Tax Office Collection Division cannot resolve your situation, request a reconsideration by submitting an email to the Taxpayer Advocate, Elena Fowlkes at so that your matter can be reconsidered.

The city understands how challenging these times are for small businesses, especially the restaurant community, and are willing to work with us on tax issues. 

Also in DC, Mayor Bowser said that she will extend the Public Health Emergency until October 9, 2020. This means specific relief measures tied to the Emergency will be extended. 

These include: 

  • Expanded outdoor dining allowances on public space (expanded outdoor dining on private space is allowed until October 25th).
  • 15% cap on third party delivery fees
  • Rent freezes are in place for retail tenants (which includes restaurants) during the Emergency

In Maryland, Governor Hogan sent a letter to county leaders urging them to actively and aggressively enforce public health requirements in bars and restaurants across the state. While the members of our community are strictly abiding by reopen guidelines and are going above and beyond to protect the health and safety of staff and customers, some businesses are not, and the Governor is encouraging local health departments, local liquor boards and inspectors, and local law enforcement agencies to work together to ensure public health is protected by warning, fining, taking action regarding licenses or closing if necessary, if violations are flagrant. This action is similar to what Governor Northam has called for in Virginia. 

In Montgomery County, the “Reopen Montgomery” Small Business Grant Program launched a website that provides information on how to apply for the grants that are up to $5,000. The application is not live yet, but you are encouraged to start pulling required information together to expedite the process. Click here for more information. 

On the national scope, Congress will consider its final Coronavirus relief bill for 2020 later this month. There are two different campaigns; One through the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and the other through the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC), both of which have been allies to ensure that proper relief is considered as we move through this pandemic. This is the FINAL opportunity and our industry needs to be loud!

Click here to participate in the National Restaurant Association’s campaign for a Blueprint for Restaurant Revival, which aims to create a $120 billion recovery fund and a second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding as the top goals. The NRA supports the Senate’s “Restaurants Act,” which provides relief for operators who own twenty or fewer restaurants.  

Click here to participate in the Independent Restaurant Coalition’s campaign, which aims to establish a $120 billion Independent Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The IRC supports the House’s “Restaurants Act,” which provides relief for restaurants that do not have the same name as twenty other restaurants.

There are distinctions between their two campaigns, but what is most critical is your action to ensure the unique needs of our industry are met with the next and final round of relief. 

As always, please contact our team if you have any questions or need additional clarification or support at