Code Section Group

Revenue and Taxation Code - RTC

DIVISION 1. PROPERTY TAXATION [50 - 5911]

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

PART 5. COLLECTION OF TAXES [2501 - 3205]

  ( Part 5 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 154. )

CHAPTER 1. Medium of Payment [2501 - 2516]
  ( Chapter 1 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 154. )

2501.
  

Taxes shall be paid only in the mediums permitted by this chapter.

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

2502.
  

Taxes may be paid in legal tender or in money receivable in payment of taxes by the United States. The tax collector shall have the right to refuse the payment in coins of property taxes, penalties and interest, and any other charges associated with the payment of property taxes.

(Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 523, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 1993.)

2503.
  

A tax levied for a special purpose shall be paid in such funds as may be directed.

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

2503.1.
  

As used in this division, “electronic funds transfer” means any transfer of funds, other than a transaction originated by check, draft, or similar paper instrument, which is initiated through an electronic terminal, telephonic instrument, or computer or magnetic tape so as to order, instruct, or authorize a financial institution to credit or debit an account.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 194, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2005.)

2503.2.
  

(a) The tax collector for any city, county, or city and county may, in his or her discretion, accept electronic funds transfers in payment for a purchase at a tax sale, of any tax, assessment, or on a redemption.

(b) The tax collector for any city, county, or city and county may, in his or her discretion, require any taxpayer, or any paying agent of a taxpayer or taxpayers, who makes an aggregate payment of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or more on the two most recent regular installments on the secured roll or on the one installment of the most recent unsecured tax roll, to make subsequent payments by electronic funds transfer.

(c) Any taxpayer or paying agent making payment by electronic funds transfer shall provide any supporting documentation and electronic information as requested by the tax collector. An electronic funds transfer made pursuant to this section shall be made to the bank account designated by the tax collector.

(d) Any costs incurred by the tax collector as a result of the acceptance of electronic funds transfers pursuant to this section shall be considered administrative costs of tax collection, except that if for any reason the electronic funds transfer is not completed, those costs shall be recovered as provided in subdivision (g).

(e) The acceptance of an electronic funds transfer shall constitute payment of a tax, assessment, or redemption as of the date of acceptance when, but not before, the transfer has been completed. An electronic funds transfer is completed by acceptance by the bank designated by the tax collector of the payment specified by the originator’s payment order.

(f) If an electronic funds transfer is not accepted for any reason, any record of payment entered on any official record indicating the acceptance of that transfer shall be canceled, and the tax or assessment shall be a lien as if no payment has been attempted. When a cancellation of a record of payment is made, the canceling officer shall record the cancellation on the record that contained the notation of payment, and immediately shall cause a written notice of cancellation to be sent to the person attempting the electronic funds transfer.

(g) Upon notice of nonacceptance of an electronic funds transfer, the tax collector may charge the person who attempted the electronic funds transfer a fee not to exceed the costs of processing the transfer, providing notice of nonacceptance to that person, and making required cancellations on the tax roll. The amount of any fee charged pursuant to this subdivision shall be set by the governing body of the relevant city, county, or city and county, and may be added to the tax bill and collected in the same manner as costs recovered pursuant to Section 2621.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 194, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2005.)

2504.
  

As used in this division, “negotiable paper” means checks, drafts, and money orders.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 340, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2008.)

2505.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), the tax collector or treasurer for any city or county may in his or her discretion accept negotiable paper in payment of any tax, or assessment, or on a redemption.

(b) The tax collector of a county shall accept a certificate of eligibility to pay all or any part of any ad valorem property tax, special assessment, or other charge or user fee appearing on the county tax bill. The tax collector, treasurer, or other official charged with the duty of collecting taxes for a chartered city which levies and collects its own property taxes shall accept a certificate of eligibility to pay all or any part of any ad valorem property tax, special assessment, or other charge or user fee appearing on the tax bill of such city. A certificate for partial payment shall not be accepted unless accompanied by an amount sufficient to fully pay the remaining ad valorem property taxes, special assessment, or other charge or fee appearing on the respective tax bill installment.

(c) For the 1978–79 fiscal year and thereafter, except as to those amounts which can be paid by a certificate pursuant to subdivision (c), the tax collector shall not accept a certificate of eligibility to pay all or part of any installment if tendered after the delinquency date thereof, unless accompanied by an amount sufficient to fully pay any delinquent taxes, assessments, costs, penalties, interest, fees or other charges resulting from the delinquency or delinquencies.

(d) In no event shall a certificate of eligibility be accepted later than the expiration date designated thereon.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 387, Sec. 17. (SB 205) Effective January 1, 2018.)

2506.
  

The acceptance of negotiable paper constitutes a payment of a tax, assessment, or redemption as of the date of acceptance when, but not before, the negotiable paper is duly paid.

(Amended by Stats. 1957, Ch. 155.)

2507.
  

The officer accepting negotiable paper may deposit it daily with a bank for collection and receive from the bank cashier’s checks in an amount equal to the total deposits. The cashier’s checks shall be deposited in the county treasury like cash received for the same purpose. The officer accepting negotiable paper may at his option deposit such negotiable paper daily in the county treasury instead of in a bank; and the county treasurer shall handle such negotiable paper like any other negotiable paper accepted by him.

(Amended by Stats. 1945, Ch. 1033.)

2508.
  

If any negotiable paper is returned unpaid to the bank with which it was deposited pursuant to any requirement of this division, the bank shall return it to the officer who deposited it and, if its amount has been included in any cashier’s check given by the bank, the bank is entitled to a refund in the amount of the unpaid negotiable paper. Any negotiable paper redeemed by or charged back to the county treasurer by reason of nonpayment shall be returned to the officer who deposited it in exchange for currency or other negotiable paper or for the warrant of the county auditor drawn on the fund into which the original deposit was made.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 22, Sec. 180. Effective January 1, 2006.)

2509.
  

If any negotiable paper is not paid on due presentment for any reason, any record of payment made on any official record because of its acceptance shall be canceled, and the tax or assessment is a lien as though no payment has been attempted.

The officer accepting negotiable paper shall make any memoranda necessary to enable him to make proper cancellation on its return without payment.

(Amended by Stats. 1957, Ch. 155.)

2509.1.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the return to the depositing county officer of any unpaid negotiable paper, the tax collector may charge the person who attempted payment through the unpaid negotiable paper a fee not to exceed the cost of making required notifications to the person, processing the returned unpaid negotiable paper, and making the required cancellations on the tax roll. The fee amount shall be set by the board of supervisors and be subject to the fee review procedures required by Section 54986 of the Government Code. The fee may be added to the tax bill and collected in the same manner as costs recovered under Section 2621.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 126, Sec. 17. Effective June 11, 1990.)

2510.
  

When a cancellation is made, the officer making it shall record it on the record where the notation of payment was made. He shall immediately send a notice to the person who attempted payment by the negotiable paper of the cancellation of the payment.

The validity of any tax, assessment, or penalty is not affected by failure or irregularity in giving the notice.

(Amended by Stats. 1957, Ch. 155.)

2511.
  

By resolution of the board of supervisors passed by a four-fifths vote, any county warrant for a particular fiscal year may be received in payment of taxes for the same fiscal year levied by the county issuing the warrants if the amount of the warrant does not exceed the amount of taxes being paid. If registered, warrants shall be received only in the order of registration.

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

2511.1.
  

(a) As used in this section:

(1) “Credit card” means any card, plate, coupon book, or other credit device existing for the purpose of being used from time to time upon presentation to obtain money, property, labor, or services on credit.

(2) “Card issuer” means any person who issues a credit card and purchases credit card drafts, or the agent for those purposes with respect to a credit card.

(3) “Cardholder” means any person to whom a credit card is issued or any person who has agreed with the card issuer to pay obligations arising from the issuance of a credit card to another person.

(4) “Draft purchaser” means any person who purchases credit card drafts.

(b) The board of supervisors may authorize the acceptance of a credit card for payment of property taxes. Following an authorization pursuant to the preceding sentence, the county shall, upon approval of the board of supervisors, execute a contract with one or more credit card issuers or draft purchasers. The contract shall provide for all of the following:

(1) The respective rights and duties of the county, and card issuers and draft purchasers regarding the presentment, acceptability, and payment of credit card drafts.

(2) The establishment of a reasonable means by which to facilitate payment settlements.

(3) The payment to the card issuer or draft purchaser of a reasonable fee or discount.

(4) Other matters appropriately included in contracts with respect to the purchase of credit card drafts as may be agreed upon by the parties to the contract.

(c) The honoring of a credit card pursuant to subdivision (b) shall constitute payment of the tax as of the date the credit card is honored, provided the credit card draft is paid following its due presentment to a card issuer or draft purchaser.

(d) The county may impose a fee for the use of a credit card sufficient in amount to provide for the recovery of fees or discounts paid by the county under paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) and all other costs incurred by the county in providing for payment by credit. Fees imposed under this subdivision shall be approved by the board of supervisors.

(e) If any credit card draft is not paid following due presentment to a card issuer or draft purchaser or is charged back to the county for any reason, any record of payment made shall be null and void. Any receipt issued in acknowledgment of payment shall also be null and void. The obligation of the cardholder shall continue as an outstanding obligation as though no payment had been attempted.

(f) Upon notice of nonpayment of the credit card draft, the tax collector may charge the person who attempted the payment a fee not to exceed the costs of processing the draft, providing notice of nonpayment to that person, and making required cancellations on the tax roll. The amount of the fee shall be set by the board of supervisors pursuant to Section 54986 of the Government Code, and may be added to the tax bill and collected in the same manner as costs recovered pursuant to Section 2621. Fees imposed under this subdivision shall be approved by the board of supervisors.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 497, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1999.)

2512.
  

(a) If a remittance to cover a payment required by law to be made to a taxing agency prior to a specified date and hour is (a) deposited in the United States mail in a sealed envelope, properly addressed with the required postage prepaid, or (b) deposited for shipment with an independent delivery service that is an Internal Revenue Service designated delivery service or has been approved by the tax collector, in a sealed envelope or package, properly addressed with the required fee prepaid, delivery of which shall not be later than 5 p.m. on the next business day after the effective delinquent date, the remittance shall be deemed received on the date shown by the post office cancellation mark stamped upon the envelope containing the remittance, or the independent delivery service shipment date shown on the packing slip or air bill attached to the outside of the envelope or package containing the remittance, or on the date it was mailed if proof satisfactory to the tax collector establishes that the mailing occurred on an earlier date. The taxing agency is not required to accept a payment actually received in the mail if it is received more than 30 days after the date and time set by law for the payment.

(b) If a remittance to cover a payment, required by law to be made to a taxing agency prior to a specified date and hour, is made by an electronic payment option, such as wire transfer, telephoned credit card, or electronic Internet means, the remittance shall be deemed received on the date the transaction was completed by the taxpayer, if the remittance was made on the taxing agency’s authorized Internet Web site or via the taxing agency’s authorized telephone number. Proof of completion of the transaction in the form of a confirmation number or other convincing evidence shall be presented by the taxpayer to the satisfaction of the tax collector. This subdivision does not apply to payments by electronic fund transfer as provided in Sections 2503.1 and 2503.2.

(c) This section does not, for purposes of applying subdivision (a) of Section 3707, apply to a remittance sent by mail, by independent delivery service, or by electronic payment option for the redemption of tax-defaulted property.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 17, Sec. 1. (SB 823) Effective January 1, 2010.)

2513.
  

If an application, tax statement or claim for credit or refund required by law to be filed with a taxing agency on or before a specified date is filed with the taxing agency through the United States mail, properly addressed with the required postage prepaid, it shall be deemed filed on the date shown by the post office cancellation mark stamped on the envelope containing it, or on the date it was mailed if proof satisfactory to the tax collector establishes that the mailing occurred on an earlier date.

If an application, tax statement or claim for credit or refund required by law to be filed with the taxing agency on or before a specified time on a specified date is sent through the United States mail, properly addressed with the required postage prepaid, and the cancellation mark is placed on the envelope after it is deposited in the mail:

(a) Where the cancellation mark shows both date and time, the application, tax statement or claim for credit or refund shall be deemed filed on the date shown by the cancellation mark and by the time specified by law for that date.

(b) Where the cancellation mark shows only the date, the application, tax statement or claim for credit or refund shall be deemed filed within the time and date specified when the cancellation mark bears a date on or before the specified date of filing.

(Amended by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1101.)

2514.
  

(a) Upon receipt of the payment by the Controller described in Section 20602, 20630, 20639.6, or 20640.6, the following shall occur:

(1) The tax collector shall maintain a record of the fact that taxes on the property have been postponed. In the case of the secured roll, this information may be entered in that portion of the roll which has been designated for tax default information as required by Section 3439.

(2) With respect to a claimant whose property taxes are paid by a lender from an impound, trust, or other type of account described in Section 2954 of the Civil Code, the tax collector shall notify the auditor of the claimant’s name and address, and the duplicate amount of money the Controller paid to the tax collector.

The county auditor, treasurer, or disbursing officer shall refund the amount of money, based on the payment by the Controller, to the claimant within 60 days of the replicated payment.

(b) The procedures established by this chapter shall not be construed to require a lender to alter the manner in which a lender makes payment of the property taxes of such a claimant.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 896, Sec. 9. (SB 1130) Effective January 1, 2019.)

2515.
  

(a) Upon receiving a copy of the “notice of lien for postponed property taxes” from the Controller, the assessor shall maintain a record of the fact that the taxes on the property have been postponed and the Controller’s identification number and shall, if such record reveals a change in the ownership status of the property subsequent to the date of entry of the postponement information thereon, notify the Controller within 60 days of processing the change in the ownership status in the manner prescribed by the Controller.

(b) From the time of recordation of the notice of lien pursuant to Section 16182 of the Government Code, the lien for postponed property taxes shall be deemed to impart constructive notice of the contents thereof to subsequent purchasers, mortgagees, lessees, and other lienors.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 387, Sec. 19. (SB 205) Effective January 1, 2018.)

2516.
  

Upon the failure of a transferee to file a change in ownership statement required by Section 480, the assessor or the auditor shall immediately enter on the assessment records applicable to the real property, the fact that a penalty has been added to the assessment roll and specify the date and amount thereof.

(Added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 242.)

RTCRevenue and Taxation Code - RTC