COVID-19s Impact on CA Property Tax Deadlines & Planning Considerations
April 10 Property Tax payment deadline currently remains unchanged.
Penalties and other charges resulting from late payments due to the COVID-19 crisis may be waived under one of two circumstances
If the offices of any county are closed on April 10 pursuant to an order of the board of supervisors under CA Revenue and Taxation Code section 2619, and as a result, taxpayers are unable to make property tax payments to that county by April 10, the law permits taxpayers to make payments on the next business day that the county offices are open without incurring a penalty.
Tax collectors have the authority to waive penalties resulting from a late payment due to “reasonable cause and circumstances beyond the taxpayer’s control, and occur[ing] notwithstanding the exercise of ordinary care in the absence of willful neglect[.]” Cal. Rev. & Tax. Code § 4985.2. Relief under this rule is discretionary and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Taxpayers unable to pay by April 10 will need to request relief and demonstrate to the tax collector that the inability to make a timely payment was due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the Los Angeles County Tax Collector has set up a special team to process penalty relief requests, and has advised impacted taxpayers to submit a request for penalty relief online, beginning on April 11. Other local tax collectors have started discussing the possibility of automatic penalty relief under certain conditions, but this development is still relatively new.
Due to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many taxpayers have already experience, or may experience, a decline in revenues in 2020. As a result, taxpayers may be able to lower their property tax assessment for 2021 and future years by applying for a reduced assessment.
May 7 Business Property Statement Filing Deadline
Businesses are required to file an annual Business Property Statement (Form 571-L) if their aggregate cost of business personal property exceeds $100,000, or if the assessor requests the information. A penalty applies if the statement is not received by May 7. While this filing deadline currently remains unchanged, there is an effort by industry groups to extend the deadline.
Source: The National Law Review