Code Section Group

Revenue and Taxation Code - RTC

DIVISION 1. PROPERTY TAXATION [50 - 5911]

  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 154. )

PART 2. ASSESSMENT [201 - 1367]

  ( Part 2 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 154. )

CHAPTER 3. Assessment Generally [401 - 681]

  ( Chapter 3 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 154. )

ARTICLE 2. Information From Taxpayer [441 - 470]
  ( Article 2 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 154. )

441.
  

(a) Each person owning taxable personal property, other than a manufactured home subject to Part 13 (commencing with Section 5800), having an aggregate cost of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or more for any assessment year shall file a signed property statement with the assessor. Every person owning personal property that does not require the filing of a property statement or real property shall, upon request of the assessor, file a signed property statement. Failure of the assessor to request or secure the property statement does not render any assessment invalid.

(b) The property statement shall be declared to be true under the penalty of perjury and filed annually with the assessor between the lien date and 5 p.m. on April 1. The penalty provided by Section 463 applies for property statements not filed by May 7. If May 7 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, a property statement that is mailed and postmarked on the next business day shall be deemed to have been filed between the lien date and 5 p.m. on May 7. If, on the dates specified in this subdivision, the county’s offices are closed for the entire day, that day is considered a legal holiday for purposes of this section.

(c) The property statement may be filed with the assessor through the United States mail, properly addressed with postage prepaid. For purposes of determining the date upon which the property statement is deemed filed with the assessor, the date of postmark as affixed by the United States Postal Service, or the date certified by a bona fide private courier service on the envelope containing the application, shall control. This subdivision shall be applicable to every taxing agency, including, but not limited to, a chartered city and county, or chartered city.

(d) (1) At any time, as required by the assessor for assessment purposes, every person shall make available for examination information or records regarding his or her property or any other personal property located on premises he or she owns or controls. In this connection details of property acquisition transactions, construction and development costs, rental income, and other data relevant to the determination of an estimate of value are to be considered as information essential to the proper discharge of the assessor’s duties.

(2) (A) Upon written request of an assessor, the assessee or the assessee’s designated representative shall transmit the information or records described in paragraph (1) by mail, or in electronic format if the information or records are available in electronic format or have been previously digitized. This paragraph shall not be construed or interpreted to limit the assessor’s authority to also examine information or records described in paragraph (1).

(B) Information or records requested pursuant to this paragraph shall be transmitted within a reasonable time period.

(3) (A) This subdivision shall also apply to an owner-builder or an owner-developer of new construction that is sold to a third party, is constructed on behalf of a third party, or is constructed for the purpose of selling that property to a third party.

(B) The owner-builder or owner-developer of new construction described in subparagraph (A), shall, within 45 days of receipt of a written request by the assessor for information or records, provide the assessor with all information and records regarding that property. The information and records provided to the assessor shall include the total consideration provided either by the purchaser or on behalf of the purchaser that was paid or provided either, as part of or outside of the purchase agreement, including, but not limited to, consideration paid or provided for the purchase or acquisition of upgrades, additions, or for any other additional or supplemental work performed or arranged for by the owner-builder or owner-developer on behalf of the purchaser.

(e) In the case of a corporate owner of property, the property statement shall be signed either by an officer of the corporation or an employee or agent who has been designated in writing by the board of directors to sign the statements on behalf of the corporation.

(f) In the case of property owned by a bank or other financial institution and leased to an entity other than a bank or other financial institution, the property statement shall be submitted by the owner bank or other financial institution.

(g)  The assessor may refuse to accept any property statement he or she determines to be in error.

(h) If a taxpayer fails to provide information to the assessor pursuant to subdivision (d) and introduces any requested materials or information at any assessment appeals board hearing, the assessor may request and shall be granted a continuance for a reasonable period of time. The continuance shall extend the two-year period specified in subdivision (c) of Section 1604 for a period of time equal to the period of the continuance.

(i) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, every person required to file a property statement pursuant to this section shall be permitted to amend that property statement until May 31 of the year in which the property statement is due, for errors and omissions not the result of willful intent to erroneously report. The penalty authorized by Section 463 does not apply to an amended statement received prior to May 31, provided the original statement is not subject to penalty pursuant to subdivision (b). The amended property statement shall otherwise conform to the requirements of a property statement as provided in this article.

(j) This subdivision shall apply to the oil, gas, and mineral extraction industry only. Any information that is necessary to file a true, correct, and complete statement shall be made available by the assessor, upon request, to the taxpayer by mail or at the office of the assessor by February 28. For each business day beyond February 28 that the information is unavailable, the filing deadline in subdivision (b) shall be extended in that county by one business day, for those statements affected by the delay. In no case shall the filing deadline be extended beyond June 1 or the first business day thereafter.

(k) The assessor may accept the filing of a property statement by the use of electronic media. In lieu of the signature required by subdivision (a) and the declaration under penalty of perjury required by subdivision (b), property statements filed using electronic media shall be authenticated pursuant to methods specified by the assessor and approved by the board. Electronic media includes, but is not limited to, computer modem, magnetic media, optical disk, and facsimile machine.

(l) (1) After receiving the notice required by Section 1162, the manager in control of a fleet of fractionally owned aircraft shall file with the lead county assessor’s office one signed property statement for all of its aircraft that have acquired situs in the state, as described in Section 1161.

(2) Flight data required to compute fractionally owned aircraft allocation under Section 1161 shall be segregated by airport.

(m) (1) After receiving the notice required by paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 1153.5, a commercial air carrier whose certificated aircraft is subject to Article 6 (commencing with Section 1150) of Chapter 5 shall file with the lead county assessor’s office designated under Section 1153.5 one signed property statement for its personal property at all airport locations and fixtures at all airport locations.

(2) Each commercial air carrier may file one schedule for all of its certificated aircraft that have acquired situs in this state under Section 1151.

(3) Flight data required to compute certificated aircraft allocation under Section 1152 and subdivision (g) of Section 202 of Title 18 of the California Code of Regulations shall be segregated by airport location.

(4) Beginning with the 2006 assessment year, a commercial air carrier may file a statement described in this subdivision electronically by means of the California Assessor’s Standard Data Record (SDR) network. If the SDR is not equipped to accept electronic filings for the 2006 assessment year, an air carrier may file a printed version of its property statement for that year with its lead county assessor’s office.

(5) This subdivision shall remain operative only until December 31, 2016.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 968, Sec. 2. (AB 2425) Effective January 1, 2019.)

441.5.
  

(a) In lieu of completing the property statement as printed by the assessor pursuant to Section 452, the assessor may accept the information required of the taxpayer by any of the following methods:

(1) Attachments to the property statement, provided that the attachments shall be in a format as specified by the assessor and one copy of the property statement, as printed by the assessor, is signed by the taxpayer and carries appropriate reference to the data attached.

(2) An electronically filed property statement that is authenticated as provided in subdivision (k) of Section 441.

(3) A property statement that is substantially similar to the property statement as printed by the assessor that is signed by the taxpayer.

(b) The assessor may consider information provided by any of the methods specified in subdivision (a) as the property statement for purposes of this division.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 204, Sec. 4. (SB 822) Effective January 1, 2010.)

442.
  

(a) The property statement shall show all taxable property owned, claimed, possessed, controlled, or managed by the person filing it and required to be reported thereon.

Every person owning, claiming, possessing, controlling or managing property shall furnish any required information or records to the assessor for examination at any time.

(b) The requirements of this article shall be satisfied with respect to property belonging to others for which the declarer has contractual property tax obligations if the declarer includes that property in the property statement, submits the statement timely, and includes in the statement all information required in the statement pertaining to property belonging to others.

(c) Property that is the subject of a contract designated as a lease that provides that the lessee has the option of acquiring the property at the end of the lease term for one dollar ($1), or any other nominal consideration, shall be reported by the lessor on the lessor’s property statement. If that property qualifies for the property tax exemption provided for by subdivision (d) or (e) of Section 3 of Article XIII of the California Constitution, that property shall be regarded as owned by the lessee and is not required to be shown on any property statement of the lessor.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 316, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2004.)

443.
  

The property statement shall also show:

(a) The county where the property is taxable.

(b) If taxable in the county where the statement is made, any city or revenue district where it is situated.

(Enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 154.)

443.1.
  

If the property statement is timely filed in duplicate with a request that the assessor mark on the duplicate statement opposite each category of property reported on the statement, the full value of such category of property as determined by the assessor, the assessor shall perform such service and shall return the duplicate to the person filing it no later than July 15 of the year in which it was filed.

(Amended by Stats. 1974, Ch. 311.)

445.
  

The property statement shall show a description of property, in the detail required. Such required detail may include the cost of the property if the information is within the knowledge of the assessee or is available to him from his own or other records.

(Amended by Stats. 1970, Ch. 531.)

448.
  

The property statement shall show all information as of 12:01 a.m. on the lien date.

(Amended by Stats. 1967, Ch. 818.)

451.
  

All information requested by the assessor or furnished in the property statement shall be held secret by the assessor. The statement is not a public document and is not open to inspection, except as provided in Section 408.

(Amended by Stats. 1971, Ch. 1633.)

452.
  

(a) For the assessment year beginning in 1968 and each assessment year thereafter, the board shall prescribe in detail the content of property statements, including the specific wording, to be used by all assessors in the several counties, and cities and counties, and shall notify assessors of those specifications no later than the August 31 prior to the tax lien date on which they become effective. Each assessor shall incorporate the specifications on the exact form he or she proposes to use and submit that form to the board for approval prior to use. The property statement shall not include any question that is not germane to the assessment function.

(b) (1) For property statements to be filed in the 2008 assessment year and each assessment year thereafter, the board shall prescribe that the property statement also include the following:

(A) A brief statement noting the obligation to pay use tax on taxable purchases for which sales tax was not applicable.

(B) Information regarding payment of use tax, which information may be limited to the board’s phone number and a Web site address at which specific information and forms for use tax payment may be obtained.

(C) A statement advising the taxpayer that information provided on a property statement may be shared with the board.

(2) The board shall implement paragraph (1) in a manner that does not increase local costs.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 180, Sec. 3. Effective August 24, 2007.)

453.
  

The assessor may request any person found within his county to make and subscribe an affidavit, showing his name, place of residence or place of business, and whether he is the owner of any taxable property.

(Amended by Stats. 1971, Ch. 1633.)

454.
  

The assessor may subpena and examine any person in relation to:

(a) any statement furnished him, or

(b) any statement disclosing property assessable in his county that may be stored with, possessed, or controlled by the person.

He may do this in any county where the person may be found, but shall not require the person to appear before him in any other county than that in which the subpena is served.

(Enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 154.)

455.
  

The assessor shall not combine parcels into a single assessment when any of those parcels have been declared to be tax defaulted for delinquent taxes. This section does not apply to subdivided land reverted to acreage in accordance with provisions of the Subdivision Map Act and local ordinances.

(Amended by Stats. 1985, Ch. 316, Sec. 3.)

456.
  

If the assessor has not received from the owner of a tract of land a legal description or a description which geographically locates the property, he may require such a description from the owner or his agent, or, in case they cannot be found or are unknown, the person in possession. Such legal description may be by reference to the assessor’s map and parcel number.

(Amended by Stats. 1974, Ch. 186.)

457.
  

If the owner, agent, or person in possession neglects to furnish the assessor with the description within 10 days after the request, the assessor shall cite him to appear before the superior court of the county where the land is situated within five days after service of the citation. On the day named in the citation, to the exclusion of all other business, the court shall proceed to hear his return and answer to the citation.

(Amended by Stats. 1971, Ch. 1633.)

458.
  

If the court finds the land has not been surveyed or divided so that it can be legally described, the court shall, by order duly entered in open court, direct the county surveyor to make a survey, and define the boundaries and location of the land by parcels not exceeding six hundred and forty acres each, and deliver it to the assessor.

(Enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 154.)

459.
  

The expense of making the survey and description by the county surveyor is a lien on the land, and, when approved by the superior court, shall be certified by it to the board of supervisors who shall, by resolution, direct the auditor to add the expense to the taxes on the land, to be collected like other taxes.

(Amended by Stats. 1941, Ch. 1240.)

459.5.
  

Sections 457, 458, and 459 are applicable when the owner, his agent, or person in possession neglects to furnish the assessor of any taxing agency, including a taxing agency having its own system for the levying and collection of taxes or assessments, with a requested description of any tract of land.

(Amended by Stats. 1970, Ch. 531.)

460.
  

If the owner or claimant of any property, not listed by another person, is absent or unknown, the assessor shall estimate its value.

(Enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 154.)

461.
  

Every person who willfully states anything which he knows to be false in any oral or written statement, not under oath, required or authorized to be made as the basis of imposing any tax or assessment, is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof may be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding six months or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 1092, Sec. 365. Effective September 27, 1983. Operative January 1, 1984, by Sec. 427 of Ch. 1092.)

462.
  

Every person is guilty of a misdemeanor who, after written request by the assessor, does any of the following:

(a) Refuses to make available to the assessor any information which is required by subdivision (d) of Section 441 of this code.

(b) Gives a false name.

(c) Willfully refuses to give his true name.

Upon conviction of any offense in this section, the defendant may be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding six months or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both.

If the defendant is a corporation, it may be punished by an additional fine of two hundred dollars ($200) for each day it refuses to comply with the provisions of this section, up to a maximum of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000).

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 1092, Sec. 366. Effective September 27, 1983. Operative January 1, 1984, by Sec. 427 of Ch. 1092.)

463.
  

(a) If any person who is required by law or is requested by the assessor to make an annual property statement fails to file an annual property statement within the time limit specified by Section 441 or make and subscribe the affidavit respecting his or her name and place of residence, a penalty of 10 percent of the assessed value of the unreported taxable tangible property of that person placed on the current roll shall be added to the assessment made on the current roll.

(b) Notice of any penalty added to the secured roll pursuant to this section shall be mailed by the assessor to the assessee at his or her address as contained in the official records of the county assessor.

(c) If the assessee establishes to the satisfaction of the county board of equalization or the assessment appeals board that the failure to file the property statement within the time required by Section 441 was due to reasonable cause and circumstances beyond the assessee’s control, and occurred notwithstanding the exercise of ordinary care in the absence of willful neglect, it may order the penalty abated, provided the assessee has filed with the county board written application for abatement of the penalty within the time prescribed by law for the filing of applications for assessment reductions.

(d) If the penalty is abated it shall be canceled or refunded in the same manner as an amount of tax erroneously charged or collected.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 501, Sec. 1. (AB 571) Effective January 1, 2016.)

464.
  

All moneys recovered by the assessor under Section 463 shall be paid into the county treasury.

(Amended by Stats. 1966, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 147.)

465.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), the assessor may destroy any document when six years have elapsed since the lien date for the tax year for which that document was obtained. Documents may be destroyed immediately upon preservation in a medium that provides access to the documents such as microfilm, microfiche, electronic document imaging, or other media that captures a true image of the document that may later be retrieved.

(b) Affidavits claiming an exemption, for the first time, pursuant to Sections 254.5, 257, and 277 may be destroyed by the assessor as follows:

(1) Six years after the lien date of the tax year for which the exemption was last granted.

(2) Upon preservation in a medium that provides access to the documents such as microfilm, microfiche, electronic document imaging, or other media that captures a true image of the document that may later be retrieved.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 185, Sec. 3. (SB 1493) Effective January 1, 2011.)

467.
  

Annually, on or before March 20th, every taxing agency shall file with the assessor of the county in which the property is located statements containing legal descriptions of:

(a) All real estate which it has conveyed by deed to any person during the assessment year ending on the last day of December.

(b) All real estate owned by it on the preceding lien date and which it has agreed by contract in writing to sell and convey to any person. The statement covering property sold by contract shall show for each parcel of real estate the name and address of the purchaser, the consideration for the sale and conveyance thereof, and the amount of the consideration paid as of the lien date.

(Amended by Stats. 1995, Ch. 499, Sec. 13. Effective January 1, 1996.)

468.
  

In addition to any other remedies described in this article, if any person fails to furnish any information or records required by this article upon request by the assessor, the assessor may apply to the superior court of the county for an order requiring the person who failed to furnish such information or records to appear and answer concerning his property before such court at a time and place specified in the order. The court may so order in any county where the person may be found, but shall not require the person to appear before the court in any other county than that in which the subpoena is served.

(Amended by Stats. 1971, Ch. 1633.)

469.
  

(a) The assessor shall annually conduct a significant number of audits of the books and records of taxpayers engaged in a profession, trade, or business who own, claim, possess, or control locally assessable trade fixtures and business tangible personal property in the county to encourage the accurate and proper reporting of property as required by this article. The assessor shall conduct an audit of those taxpayers as provided by subdivision (b).

(1) For purposes of this section, “significant number of audits” means at least 75 percent of the fiscal year average of the total number of audits the assessor was required to have conducted during the 2002–03 fiscal year to the 2005–06 fiscal year, inclusive, on those taxpayers in the county that had a full value of four hundred thousand dollars ($400,000) or more of locally assessable trade fixtures and business tangible personal property.

(2) The assessor is not required to audit a taxpayer that is fully exempt from property taxation under other provisions of law for purposes of the requirements of this section.

(3) If the board audits a taxpayer because the taxpayer’s assessment was selected in a sampling of assessments from the local assessment rolls pursuant to Section 15640 of the Government Code, that audit may be deemed an audit by the assessor for purposes of the requirements of this section.

(b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), each year the audits required by subdivision (a) shall be conducted in the following manner:

(1) Fifty percent of the audits required by subdivision (a) shall be performed on taxpayers selected from a pool of those taxpayers that have the largest assessments of locally assessable trade fixtures and business tangible personal property in the county.

(A) This pool of taxpayers shall be determined as follows:

(i) The assessor shall rank all of the taxpayers in the county in descending order by the total locally assessed value of both trade fixtures and business tangible personal property.

(ii) The assessor shall select a qualified number of those taxpayers with the largest assessments for inclusion in the pool. The qualified number shall be that number equal to 50 percent of the audits required by subdivision (a) multiplied by four.

(B) Taxpayers in the pool shall be audited at least once within each four-year period following the latest fiscal year covered by a preceding audit and the audit may combine multiple fiscal years. The assessor is relieved of the requirement to audit the taxpayer at least once every four years if the assessor determines that the taxpayer’s assessments are no longer large enough for inclusion in the pool.

(2) The remaining 50 percent of the required audits, as determined by paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), shall be selected in a manner that is fair and equitable to all taxpayers and may be based on evidence of underreporting as determined by the assessor.

(3) Nothing in this subdivision is intended to prohibit the audit of any taxpayer more frequently than once every four years.

(c) In order to allow the assessor some discretion in the number of audits completed each fiscal year as long as the four-year total number of audits in each category are complete within a four-year period, as an alternative to the requirement in subdivision (b) the assessor may satisfy these requirements by auditing the four-year total of the significant number of audits at any time within that four-year period. For purposes of this subdivision, the first four-year period shall begin with the 2019–20 fiscal year.

(d) With respect to any audit of the books of a profession, trade, or business, regardless of the full value of the trade fixtures and business tangible personal property owned, claimed, possessed, or controlled by the taxpayer, the following shall apply:

(1) Upon completion of an audit of the taxpayer’s books and records, the taxpayer shall be given the assessor’s findings in writing with respect to data that would alter any previously enrolled assessment.

(2) Equalization of the property by a county board of equalization or assessment appeals board pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 1601) of Part 3 of this division shall not preclude a subsequent audit and shall not preclude the assessor from levying an escape assessment in appropriate instances, but shall preclude an escape assessment being levied on that portion of the assessment that was the subject of the equalization hearing.

(3) If the result of an audit for any year discloses property subject to an escape assessment, then the original assessment of all property of the assessee at the location of the profession, trade, or business for that year shall be subject to review, equalization and adjustment by the county board of equalization or assessment appeals board pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 1601) of Part 3 of this division, except in those instances when the property had previously been equalized for the year in question.

(4) If the audit for any particular tax year discloses that the property of the taxpayer was incorrectly valued or misclassified for any cause, to the extent that this error caused the property to be assessed at a higher value than the assessor would have entered on the roll had the incorrect valuation or misclassification not occurred, then the assessor shall notify the taxpayer of the amount of the excess valuation or misclassification, and the fact that a claim for cancellation or refund may be filed with the county as provided by Sections 4986 and 5096.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 467, Sec. 64. (SB 1498) Effective January 1, 2019.)

470.
  

(a) Upon request of an assessor, a person owning, claiming, possessing, or controlling property subject to local assessment shall make available at his or her principal place of business, principal location, or principal address in California, a true copy of business records relevant to the amount, cost, and value of all property that he or she owns, claims, possesses, or controls within the county.

(b) (1) Upon written request of an assessor, the assessee or the assessee’s designated representative shall transmit the business records described in subdivision (a) by mail, or in electronic format if the business records are available in electronic format or have been previously digitized. This paragraph shall not be construed or interpreted to limit the assessor’s authority to also examine information or records described in subdivision (a).

(2) Information or records requested by the assessor under this subdivision shall be transmitted within a reasonable time period.

(c) In the case of a taxpayer that has its principal place of business outside of California and has been requested to make business records available pursuant to subdivision (a), that taxpayer may, as an alternative to making the requested business records available pursuant to the terms of that subdivision, pay the county the amount of reasonable and ordinary expenses for food, lodging, transportation, and other related items incurred by the assessor’s representative, in traveling to the place outside California where the requested business records are available for examination and performing his or her official duties with respect to the examination of those records.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 968, Sec. 3. (AB 2425) Effective January 1, 2019.)

RTCRevenue and Taxation Code - RTC2