Penalty Cancellation Request / How to Avoid Penalties
Make sure you receive bills for all property that you own. Keep track of all parcel numbers and check off the bills as you receive them and e-mail or call our office if you are missing any bills.
Remember: Under California Law, it is the responsibility of the taxpayer to obtain all tax bill(s) and to make timely payment.
On the secured tax roll, the first installment is due November 1st and delinquent on December 10th, and the second installment is due on February 1st and delinquent on April 10th. Taxpayers have the option of paying both installments when the first installment is due. However, you may not pay the second installment if the first installment has not been paid. Penalties will not be waived due to not receiving a bill.
Make sure that you note December 10th and April 10th as payment deadlines for Secured Property Taxes as opposed to the April 15th deadline for federal taxes imposed by the I.R.S.
Mail your property tax payments early to make sure that the envelope is postmarked on or before December 10th or April 10th! According to California law, the postmark date is used to determine if payment was mailed on or before the deadline. If you are waiting until the last day to mail your payment, it is recommended that you personally witness the postmark being affixed to your envelope and obtain a receipt as evidence of the mailing.
The California Revenue and Taxation code does not provide a legal basis for the Treasurer-Tax Collector to waive the late penalties when the postmark is after the delinquent date. By paying your taxes on time, you save the following penalties required by California law:
A 10% penalty added 5:00 p.m. on December 10.*
A 10% penalty and $23.00 cost added after 5:00 p.m. on April 10.*
After the end of the fiscal year (June 30th), a $15.00 redemption fee and additional penalty of 1-½% per month (18% per annum) is added on the unpaid tax amount. Check your tax bill for a notation stating that "you may have unpaid taxes for prior years." If you see this and are not aware of unpaid taxes, call our office immediately. Substantial savings in penalties can be achieved by paying any prior year taxes or by initiating a Five-Year Installment Plan of Redemption.
Keep the County Assessor’s office informed of any change in mailing address so that future tax bills will be mailed to the correct address. You may contact the Assessor at (714) 834-2727.
*If a delinquent date falls on a weekend or holiday, the delinquent date is the next business day.
Penalty Cancellation Request
Any Taxpayer may request cancellation of a penalty assessed on a secured or unsecured property, either in writing, or by submitting a completed and signed Penalty Cancellation Request Form. California Revenue & Taxation Code 4985.2 and 2509 provide a very limited basis for cancellation of penalties. The Office of the Treasurer-Tax Collector (TTC) attempts to respond to all requests within 60 days.
Application for Property Tax Relief for Military Personnel - Military personnel on active duty are eligible to defer the payment of their taxes under the provisions of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act 50 U.S.C. §§ 3991. Instead of the penalties, costs and fees imposed under California law, the unpaid taxes are subject only to interest at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum. This application form may be completed by the servicemember, his/her adult dependent (including spouse) or any other individual authorized by the servicemember to act on his/her behalf.
Approval of a Penalty Cancellation Request
If the request for penalty cancellation is approved, the TTC will respond to the taxpayer confirming the cancellation.
Denial of a Penalty Cancellation Request
If the request for penalty cancellation is denied, the TTC will respond to the taxpayer explaining the reason for the denial.
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