Property Tax Cancellation of Penalty Requests

A taxpayer may request cancellation of any penalty assessed on a secured or unsecured property tax bill by completing and submitting a Penalty Cancellation Form. The signed and completed request form and all supporting documentation are required for consideration of this cancellation request.

The following reasons for late payment are common examples which are NOT sufficient for the Department of Tax and Collections to waive penalties, as prescribed by state law, and these requests will be denied:

  • I did not receive a tax bill.
  • I forgot.
  • I was out of town or country.
  • I have paid on time in the past for many years and think I should not be penalized this time.
  • My bank did not make the payment until after the deadline.
  • I thought my mortgage company was going to pay.
  • I used a private postal meter machine, such as Pitney Bowes.

The Department of Tax and Collections is governed by the California Revenue & Taxation (R&T) Code in granting a tax penalty cancellation. The following summarizes key concepts in sections of the R&T Code that provide the legal basis to determine when a tax payment is considered timely and when a tax penalty cancellation request may be granted.

 Section 2512

  1. Payments received by mail are deemed received based on the United States Postal Service postmark date stamped on the envelope containing the payment or the date received if no postmark is available. If the postmark date is after the delinquent date, then the payment is considered late and the delinquent penalty will apply.
  2. Payments made through the Department of Tax and Collections website are deemed received on the date the transaction was completed by the taxpayer. Please be advised that if for any reason you are unable to make your tax payment in an automated fashion on the web, you are still responsible to make timely payment in order to avoid penalties.
  3. Payments made through online banking systems are deemed received based on the date the payment is actually received by the Department of Tax and Collections.

 Section 2610.5 and 2910.1 Failure to receive a tax bill shall not relieve the lien of taxes, nor prevent the imposition of delinquent penalties.

Section 4985 A penalty may be cancelled if the penalty attached is due to an error made on the tax roll by the Department of Tax and Collections, Auditor, or Assessor.

Section 4985.2 On rare occasions of extenuating circumstances, penalties MAY be cancelled under this code if the failure to make a timely payment is due to a reasonable cause and ALL of the following criteria are met:

  • The circumstances were beyond the taxpayer’s control.
  • The circumstances occurred notwithstanding the exercise of ordinary care and judgment.
  • The circumstances occurred in the absence of willful neglect.

(Requests made under this section MUST be accompanied by documentation/proof supporting the reason for request.)

Section 75.52 If taxes on the supplemental tax bill are not paid on or before the date they become delinquent, a penalty of 10 percent shall attach to them.

The request for penalty cancellation review process may take 45-90 days. If you have additional questions or need assistance, please call (408) 808-7900 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Monday-Friday, or email at [email protected]

Submit your request:

Online

Property Tax Penalty Cancellation Form (Online)

or

Mail

If you are unable to electronically file a claim, please download the appropriate PDF form:

Property Tax Penalty Cancellation Form (Mail)

Mail the form along with the required documentation to:

Department of Tax and Collections
Attn: Tax Collections Unit
852 N 1st Street
San Jose, CA 95112

Step by Step Instructions for Filling Out the Property Tax Penalty Cancellation Form

  1. Open the form and read the information on the last page of the form.

  2. Complete the informational section at the top of the Property Tax Penalty Cancellation Form, include your contact information, mailing address, tax bill information, APN/Assessment Number, etc.

  3. This step is very important! Describe in detail the reason for requesting a cancellation of penalty. Attach documentation that supports the basis of your request to cancel your tax penalty.

  4. Sign and date the form and submit online or by mail.

Please note, the review process may take 45-90 days. If you have questions or need assistance, please call (408) 808-7900 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Monday-Friday, or email at [email protected] .

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