Under California Revenue and Taxation Code section 2610.5 "failure to receive a tax bill shall not relieve the lien of taxes, nor shall it prevent the imposition of penalties..." Keep in mind that as a new property owner, California law requires that you be responsible for the timely payment of taxes on your property. The Treasurer-Tax Collector completes one mailing of the Secured Property Tax Bills each year in late September or early October to the owner of record provided by the Assessor. We may perform a subsequent mailing of the Secured bills to new owners if the information is received from the Office of the Assessor. However, if you purchase property between September and November, you should determine who is to pay the first installment due on or before December 10th for the period of July 1st through December 30th. In addition, since the tax bill may have been sent to the previous owner and another tax bill will not be mailed, you also need to be responsible for ensuring proper payment is received for the second installment due on or before April 10th. You can obtain a duplicate copy of the tax bill at ocgov.com/octaxbill.
You can possibly save costly penalties if, prior to the purchase of property and close of escrow, you make sure there are no prior delinquent taxes owing, and pre-arrange who pays the current installment due and owing. In a normal escrow, current year taxes are usually pro-rated at the time of closing or escrow between the interested parties, based on the number of calendar days each party held ownership during the fiscal year which extends from July 1 through June 30. Pro-ration is a matter strictly between the parties involved. The Treasurer-Tax Collector cannot adjust the taxes. The installment amount as shown on the tax bill is the amount due by the party determined at the close of escrow. Check your title papers to see if you were credited or debited an amount for the time in the fiscal year you owned the property.
Do Not Wait To Be Notified or expect receipt of a tax bill. Make it a matter of your personal attention and responsibility to find out what taxes are due and owing by you, as required by law. Penalties will not be waived due to not receiving a bill.
What Should You Expect From The Treasurer-Tax Collector After Buying A New Home?
New Owner Property Tax Bill - As a courtesy, once the Treasurer-Tax Collector receives notice of the ownership change from the Office of the Assessor, we will mail you a copy of the most recent property tax bill. You should immediately go online to ocgov.com/octaxbill to see if any property taxes are due. If you sell your property before you receive a Supplemental property tax bill, you are still responsible to pay the proration of property taxes up to the date sold and should notify the Assessor of the change in ownership. Late penalties on Supplemental property tax bills are not waived.
New Assessed Property Value - When a property changes ownership, a new assessed value will be used in determining your property taxes. This will generally be based on the amount you paid for your property. If you have any questions regarding the new assessed property value, please contact the Office of the Assessor at (714) 834-2727.
Supplemental Tax Bills - Supplemental tax bill(s) are generally one-time tax bill(s) which occurs when there is a transfer of ownership on a property. They may also be issued if there is new construction on the property that results in a reassessment of the value. The amount of the Supplemental tax bill(s) is determined by taking the difference between your new assessed property value and the previous assessed property value. You may estimate the amount of your new taxes on this website, please click Estimate Supplemental Taxes.
Mortgage companies do not usually pay the Supplemental property tax bill(s). They are the responsibility of the new property owner. You will normally receive your new Supplemental property tax bill(s) within one year of purchasing the property. Some people will receive more than one Supplemental property tax bill. If the transfer of ownership occurred prior to June 30, you will receive one Supplemental property tax bill from the date of purchase through June 30th of that year. You may also receive a Supplemental tax bill from July 1 to June 30 of the next fiscal year.
Homeowners Exemption - Property that is owned and occupied as your principal place of residence as of the lien date (January 1st) may qualify for an exemption of $7,000 of assessed value. Should you not receive a Homeowner Exemption, please contact the Office of the Assessor at (714) 834-3821.
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