Penalties for Non-Payment
Make sure you receive bills for all property that you own. Keep track of all parcel numbers, e.g: 123-456-789-000. Check off the bills as you receive them and call the Tax Collection Unit of the Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office at 530-889-4120 if you are missing any bills. Please allow 15 days for mailing.
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 1 and delinquent on December 10, and the second installment is due on February 1 and delinquent on April 10. Taxpayers have the option of paying both installments when the first installment is due. Penalties will not be waived due to not receiving a bill.
Make sure that you note December 10 and April 10 as payment deadlines for secured roll taxes as compared to the I.R.S. April 15th deadline for federal taxes and the deadline for filing Homeowner's Exemption. A news release in the newspaper just prior to the tax deadline is the only written notice given of the deadline for payment of county taxes.
Mail your property tax payments early to make sure that the envelope is USPS postmarked on or before December 10 and April 10. According to California law, the Treasurer-Tax Collector must review the postmark date to determine if payment was mailed before the deadline.
By paying your taxes on time, you save the following penalties required by California law:
- A 10% penalty added as of 5 p.m. on December 10.
- A 10% penalty and $10 cost added as of 5 p.m. on April 10.
After the end of the fiscal year (June 30), a $15 redemption fee and a 1 1/2% per month (18% per annum) penalty is added on the unpaid tax amount. If a "prior year taxes in default" a notation appears on your tax bill, you may have unpaid taxes for prior years. Substantial savings in penalties can be achieved by paying any prior year back taxes or by initiating a five-year installment plan of redemption.
New Home Buyers
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.
If property is purchased in November, determine who is to pay the first installment due on or before December 10 for the period of July 1 through December 30.
If property is purchased in April, determine who is to pay the second installment due on or before April 10 for the period of time from January 1 through June 30.
Remember, taxes on real property remain a lien on the property until paid and are not affected by a change in ownership.
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.
Do not wait to be notified or expect receipt of a tax bill. None may be forthcoming. 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.
Current year taxes are usually pro-rated at the time of close of 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.
Keep the County Assessor informed of any change in address so that future tax bills will be mailed to the correct address. You may contact the Assessor at 530-889-4300