Penalty Cancellation Request / How to Avoid Penalties

    COVID-19 Penalty Cancellation Form, FAQs and Penalty Cancellation Request Examples
    Non-COVID-19 Penalty Cancellation Form

    Military Tax Relief Application

    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.

    • If you have been directly impacted by COVID-19 and did not pay your property taxes by April 10, you will have your penalties cancelled. These taxpayers will need to complete the COVID-19 Penalty Cancellation requests be submitted between April 11 and June 30. Although we were not able to change the payment deadline, we are extending the time for you to submit and pay the base property taxes until June 30, but we encourage paying as soon as you are able. To submit a COVID-19 penalty cancellation request, you must:
      • Complete the request form describing in detail how you were impacted by COVID-19 and unable to deliver your payment for property taxes by April 10.
      • Include available documentation to support your request and date and sign the form.
      • Include a check for the second installment of taxes (without penalties and fees).
      • Mail the form, the available documentation and your check to the address on the form or if you have paid the taxes online, just email us the form and available documentation to ttc.ocgov.com.
      • All submissions will be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis.

    Examples of direct impacts due to COVID-19 include: illness, hospitalization, quarantine, loss of employment or business closures. Examples of documentation include hospitalization documents, doctor’s notes, employment notifications such as business closure, layoff notice, rent receipt postponement notices/waivers, CA EDD Unemployment Insurance claim letter, etc. As these requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, we encourage you to apply and provide your specific circumstances to be considered. See COVID-19 FAQs at the top of this page.

    • If you were not directly impacted by COVID-19, but were unable to deliver payment by April 10, we still may be able to help. We encourage you to review the limited exceptions where cancellation of penalties may be granted and if you believe that you qualify, complete the penalty cancellation form. Some examples include payment of the wrong parcel and hospitalization on April 10. See Penalty Cancellation Request Examples at the top of this page along with information on the cancellation form.

    Note: You can also drop it off at the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s payment depository box at 601 N. Ross St., which has close adjacent metered parking.

    If you are not able to request either penalty cancellation above, then we encourage you to pay the full amount owed by June 30 (no additional fees and interest through June 30, 2020). You can pay online by eCheck (no cost), online by credit/debit card (2.29 percent service fee applies), mail in your payment or drop off your payment in our depository payment box located on Ross Street (601 N. Ross St.) with close adjacent metered parking.

    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.

    HOW TO AVOID PENALTIES

    • Sign up for our secured and unsecured property tax reminder by text or email
    • 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.