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Penalty Cancellation Request / How to Avoid Penalties

FAQs and Penalty Cancellation Request Examples
Penalty Cancellation Form

Military Tax Relief Application

Penalty Cancellation Request Process

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

  • 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.

  • Appealing a Decision

If a request for penalty cancellation is denied, the taxpayer may appeal the decision by filing a Claim for Refund of Taxes and/or Penalties paid with the Office of the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors by clicking on the following link: Claim for Refund

If you were unable to deliver payment by April 10, we 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 and mail in the request with the base tax amount. 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.

If you are not able to request a penalty cancellation, then we encourage you to pay the full amount as soon as you can (interest accrues at 18 percent) or apply for a five-year payment plan (processing fee of $25 plus interest at 18 percent annually) after July 1. You can pay online by eCheck (no cost), online by credit/debit card (2.29 percent service fee applies), mail your payment, drop off your payment in our depository payment box at 601 N. Ross St. or pay in-person at the County Service Center.

Questions? Email or call 714-834-3411.


  • 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 after 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 week to mail your payment, it is recommended that you obtain a hand-stamp postmark at the USPS or a receipt as evidence of the mailing. See details at
  • 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. after December 10.*
    • A 10% penalty and $23.00 cost added after 5:00 p.m. after 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 your first installment is not fully paid (plus any related penalties for late payment), then your second installment payment will apply first against the outstanding balance and then a second installment penalty of 10% will be applied if the second installment is not fully paid.

*If  the last timely payment date falls on a weekend or holiday, the delinquent date is the next business day.