Penalty for Property tax late payment can be waived

Under existing law, county tax collectors do not have the authority to extend the property tax deadline.

Penalties can be waived under following two circumstances:

  1. Offices of any county tax collector are closed and, as a result, taxpayers are unable to make property tax payments to that county by April 10. Online payment and pay-by-mail are available, thus, this is kind of useless.
  2. tax collectors also have the authority to waive late payment penalties pursuant to R&TC section 4985.2 upon a finding that failure to timely pay is due to “reasonable cause and circumstances beyond the taxpayer’s control, occurring notwithstanding the exercise of ordinary care in the absence of willful neglect[.]” Taxpayers may begin to submit penalty cancellation requests starting on April 11 (the day after property tax payment becomes delinquent).

Tax collectors in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties all have issued notices saying they don’t have the power to waive the property tax deadline — even though tax offices are being closed to the public.

Governor Gavin Newsom is in discussion with the California Sate Association of Counties (CSAC), which represents the 58 counties in the state.  The counties insist that the state government replace any revenue that might be lost through a California-ordered delay of the April 10 payment date.