Code Section Group

Revenue and Taxation Code - RTC

DIVISION 1. PROPERTY TAXATION [50 - 5911]

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

PART 9. CORRECTIONS, CANCELLATIONS, AND REFUNDS [4801 - 5170]

  ( Part 9 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 154. )

CHAPTER 4. Cancellations [4985 - 5091]

  ( Chapter 4 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 154. )

ARTICLE 1. Generally [4985 - 4992]
  ( Article 1 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 154. )

4985.
  

Any delinquent penalty, cost, redemption penalty, interest, or redemption fee, heretofore or hereafter attached, shall upon satisfactory proof submitted by the tax collector, the auditor, or the assessor, be canceled by the auditor upon a showing that the delinquent penalty, cost, redemption penalty, interest, or redemption fee has attached because of either of the following:

(a) An error of the tax collector, the auditor, or the assessor.

(b)They were unable to complete valid procedures initiated prior to the delinquency date. The collection shall be made upon the further showing that payment of the corrected or additional amount was made within 30 days from the date that the correction was entered on the roll or abstract record.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 941, Sec. 31. Effective January 1, 2000.)

4985.1.
  

In charter counties with a population of over 1,300,000, all or a portion of the duties imposed upon the auditor pursuant to Section 4985 may, upon approval of the auditor and by resolution of the board of supervisors, be transferred to the tax collector.

The tax collector shall make a report to the auditor in the manner prescribed by the auditor of any cancellation made pursuant to this section.

(Added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 776.)

4985.2.
  

Any penalty, costs, or other charges resulting from tax delinquency may be canceled by the auditor or the tax collector upon a finding of any of the following:

(a) Failure to make a timely payment is due to reasonable cause and circumstances beyond the taxpayer’s control, and occurred notwithstanding the exercise of ordinary care in the absence of willful neglect, provided the principal payment for the proper amount of the tax due is made no later than June 30 of the fourth fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the tax became delinquent.

(b) There was an inadvertent error in the amount of payment made by the taxpayer, provided the principal payment for the proper amount of the tax due is made within 10 days after the notice of shortage is mailed by the tax collector.

(c) The cancellation was ordered by a local, state, or federal court.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 800, Sec. 19. Effective January 1, 1997.)

4985.3.
  

(a) Notwithstanding Section 2610.5, in the case of cancellations made to the roll pursuant to Section 1646.1, where a taxpayer has failed to pay an amount of tax computed upon assessed value that is the subject of a pending assessment appeal, the relief from penalties shall apply only to the difference between the county board’s final determination of value and the value on the assessment roll for the fiscal year covered by the application. For purposes of this section, “county board” means either a county board of supervisors that meets as a county board of equalization or an assessment appeals board.

(b) The county board shall cause notice of the requirements of this section to be mailed to each taxpayer or to be presented to each taxpayer upon filing an application for reduction in assessment with the county board if that taxpayer will be impacted by the penalty provisions of this section.

(c) For any taxpayer who has paid at least 80 percent of the amount of tax finally determined due by the county board within 60 days of mailing or presentation of the notice prescribed in subdivision (b), the tax collector shall accept payment of the balance of the tax due without penalties or interest.

(d) This section shall apply only to those properties upon which an application for reduction in assessment is pending before the county board on the effective date of the act adding this section or those applications for reduction in assessment that are filed with the county board after the effective date of the act adding this section.

(e) This section shall only become operative if the board of supervisors of a county, with the approval of the county’s tax collector and the county’s auditor, adopts a resolution or ordinance approving this section.

(Added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 856, Sec. 3. Effective September 27, 1994. Applicable in each county upon action prescribed in subd. (e).)

4985.5.
  

(a) Notwithstanding Section 2610.5, in the case of cancellations made to the roll pursuant to Section 1646.1, where a taxpayer has failed to pay an amount of tax computed upon assessed value that is the subject of a pending informal review based upon paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 51, the relief from penalties shall apply only to the difference between the county assessor’s final determination of value and the value on the assessment roll for the fiscal year covered by the application.

(b) This section shall apply only to those properties upon which an application for an informal review based upon paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 51 is pending before the county assessor on the effective date of the act adding this section or those applications for an informal review based upon paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 51 that are filed with the county board after the effective date of the act adding this section.

(c) For any taxpayer that has paid at least 80 percent of the amount of tax finally determined due by the county assessor within 30 days of filing an application for reassessment, the tax collector shall accept payment of the balance of the tax due without penalties or interest.

(d) The county tax collector shall notify all taxpayers that receive a tax bill of the provisions of this section.

(e) This section shall only become operative if the board of supervisors of a county, with the approval of the county’s tax collector and the county’s auditor, adopts a resolution or ordinance approving this section.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 161, Sec. 2. (AB 2643) Effective January 1, 2013.)

4986.
  

(a) All or any portion of any tax, penalty, or costs, heretofore or hereafter levied, shall, on satisfactory proof, be canceled by the auditor if it was levied or charged:

(1) More than once.

(2) Erroneously or illegally.

(3) On the canceled portion of an assessment that has been decreased pursuant to a correction authorized by Article 2 (commencing with Section 4876) of Chapter 2.

(4) On property that did not exist on the lien date.

(5) On property annexed after the lien date by the public entity owning it.

(6) On property acquired by the United States, the state, or by any county, city, school district or other public entity, to the extent provided in Article 5 (commencing with Section 5081).

(7) On that portion of an assessment in excess of the value of the property as determined by the assessor pursuant to Section 469.

(b) No cancellation under paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) may be made in respect of all or any portion of any tax, or penalties or costs attached thereto, collectible by county officers on behalf of a city without the written consent of the city attorney or other officer designated by the city council unless the city council has authorized the cancellation by county officers. The resolution shall remain effective until rescinded by the city council.

(c) If the tax, penalty, or costs, are collected more than four years following the enrollment of the tax bill, the cancellation authorized pursuant to subdivision (a) may be performed if the cancellation action is initiated within 120 days of the payment.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 407, Sec. 12. Effective January 1, 2005.)

4986.2.
  

All or any portion of uncollected city taxes, penalties or costs shall be canceled on any of the grounds specified in Section 4986. If the city taxes are collected by the county, the procedure outlined in Section 4986 for the cancellation of taxes, penalties or costs shall be followed, except that the consent of the city attorney, in lieu of the consent of the county legal adviser, is necessary before cancellation. If the taxes are collected by the city, the taxes, penalties, or costs shall be canceled by the officer having custody of the records thereof on order of the governing body of the city, with the written consent of the city attorney.

(Amended by Stats. 1979, Ch. 31.)

4986.3.
  

All or any portion of any uncollected tax, penalty, or costs, heretofore or hereafter levied, and not heretofore validly canceled, may, on satisfactory proof, be canceled by the auditor on order of the board of supervisors with the written consent of the district attorney if it was levied or charged on property subject to assessment or special taxes for the payment of bonds issued under the Improvement Bond Act of 1915 (Division 10 (commencing with Section 8500) of the Streets and Highways Code) or the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 (Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 53311) of Division 2 of Part 1 of Title 5 of the Government Code) where that property was acquired after the lien date by a city on foreclosure proceedings under the Improvement Bond Act of 1915 or the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982. If a city is entitled to bring foreclosure proceedings under the Improvement Bond Act of 1915 or the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 against any property and the city acquires the property in any other manner than by foreclosure and the governing body of the city by resolution, covering any number of parcels acquired, declares that the acquisition was in lieu of acquisition under foreclosure proceedings, that acquisition is, for the purposes of this section, an acquisition by foreclosure proceedings under the Improvement Bond Act of 1915 or the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982. This section applies regardless of whether the property acquired by the city is impressed with a public trust or is acquired for the purpose of resale. As used in this section, “city” means any city, county, city and county, special district, school district, joint powers authority, or any other municipal corporation, district, or political subdivision of the state.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 550, Sec. 30. Effective September 28, 1999.)

4986.4.
  

Whenever any property has been deeded to the Veterans’ Welfare Board pursuant to Division 4 of the Military and Veterans Code and a petition has been filed with any county or city for the cancellation of taxes pursuant to this article, the district attorney or city attorney, as the case may be, shall investigate the facts stated in the petition, and if he finds them to be true, shall approve the petition and recommend to the legislative body that the taxes described in the petition be canceled.

(Added by Stats. 1945, Ch. 323.)

4986.5.
  

When real property is distributed by description to the State after the lien date because there are no known heirs or because the estate or any portion thereof is to be distributed to heirs, devisees, or legatees whose whereabouts are unknown, taxes upon such real property shall not be paid for a period of five years after the date of entry of the decree of distribution except as provided in this section.

(a) If five years after the date of entry of the decree of distribution elapse without claim by the heirs of decedent or other persons entitled to make such claim, all taxes shall be canceled by the auditor on order of the board of supervisors with the written consent of the district attorney.

(b) If during the five-year period the real property is claimed by the heirs of decedent or other persons entitled to make such claim, all taxes upon such real property become due upon the approval of the claim, and shall be collected in the manner provided by law.

(c) If during the five-year period the State sells the real property it shall credit the proceeds of the sale to the particular estate and all taxes thereon shall be canceled. If the proceeds are claimed within the five-year period and the claim is allowed, the Controller shall deduct from the amount allowed to be paid to the claimant and remit to the taxing agency an amount equal to all taxes canceled plus any other amounts which would have been necessary to redeem the property at the time of cancellation, in accordance with an estimate thereof by the redemption officer.

(Amended by Stats. 1959, Ch. 2013.)

4986.6.
  

(a) When any real property escheats to the state after the lien date and is not distributed by description, either because it is unknown, or is included in a general distribution clause without description, or is property as to which no probate proceedings have been taken, all taxes levied upon the real property are valid and any tax sale for those taxes conveys the same title thereto as if no escheat had occurred, notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary. All those taxes levied upon the real property and tax sales duly taken pursuant to law occurring before the effective date of this section are hereby validated.

(b) If real property as described in subdivision (a) is discovered prior to tax sale by delivery to the tax collector of a certified death certificate, the public administrator of the county where the decedent resided at the time of death, and in the county in which the property is situated, if different, shall be notified of the decedent’s property that is subject to loss, injury, waste or misappropriation under Section 7600 of the Probate Code. The public administrator of the county where the decedent resided at the time of death shall take possession or control of the property under Section 7601 of Probate Code and conduct a probate investigation as authorized under Sections 7602 and 7603 of the Probate Code. Following the probate investigation, the public administrator shall do one of the following:

(1) If a person with a higher priority cannot be found to assume responsibility for the estate, the public administrator of the county where the decedent resided at the time of death shall immediately commence probate proceedings with respect to the property, and the tax sale may not be made. The probate proceedings may be summary proceedings, as authorized by Section 7660 of the Probate Code, or formal proceedings as authorized by Letters of Administration from the Superior Court under Section 7620 of the Probate Code. A tax sale may not be made until the probate process is completed.

(2) If a person with a higher priority cannot be found to assume responsibility for the estate, and the value of the estate will not cover the taxes, the secured liens, and the cost of probate, the public administrator of the county where the decedent resided at the time of death, as authorized by Section 7603 of Probate Code, shall notify the tax collector in writing that the public administrator has investigated the estate and has determined that the anticipated equity in the property after settlement of all secured liens and taxes does not warrant opening estate administration, at which time the tax sale may proceed.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 888, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2005.)

4986.8.
  

(a) On recommendation of the tax collector, the auditor may cancel any tax bill if the amount is so small as not to justify the cost of collection.

(b) Any penalties, costs, fees, or special assessments, excluding improvement bonds, that are the result of nonpayment of any tax bill which is canceled pursuant to this section may also be canceled.

(Amended by Stats. 1995, Ch. 527, Sec. 14. Effective January 1, 1996.)

4987.
  

No cancellation shall be made of charges on tax exempt property if there has not been compliance with the statutory procedure for claiming the exemption.

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

4988.
  

Where real property is assessed by the assessors of two or more counties for the same year the owner may file an action in the superior court of one of these counties against the conflicting claimants, discharge the obligation by paying the largest amount of taxes levied on the property by any of the counties into court, and compel the counties to interplead and litigate their several claims among themselves under section 386 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

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

4990.
  

On discovery that any property is assessed by the same taxing agency more than once for the same year, after payment of all charges justly due on the property the county assessor or the person having custody of the roll shall certify the facts to the board of supervisors. The board of supervisors shall then order the auditor to cancel the other charges and assessments by an entry on the margin of the roll and, if carried there, the delinquent and current roll.

(Amended by Stats. 1970, Ch. 129.)

4990.3.
  

An action may be brought at any time against this State or any county or city to quiet title against the lien of any taxes which have been canceled in accordance with this division.

(Added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 530.)

4991.
  

If the tax collector declares property to be tax defaulted for taxes which were a lien on the property for any year, and:

(a) The taxes for that year had been paid prior to that date, or

(b) The taxes have been legally canceled, or

(c) The taxes are valid but an error subsequent to the levy of the taxes renders void the declaration; the tax collector, with the approval of the auditor, shall cancel the declaration. The fact and date of the cancellation shall be entered on the abstract or electronic data processing records.

If the tax collector is not operating under the provisions of Article 2 (commencing with Section 3446) of Chapter 2 of Part 6, the tax collector shall transmit a copy of the cancellation to the Controller in the form prescribed by the Controller.

(Amended by Stats. 1985, Ch. 316, Sec. 89.)

4992.
  

If the tax collector declares property subject to a power of sale pursuant to Section 3691 and, either (a) the declaration that the property is tax defaulted is canceled under Section 4991, or (b) the power to sell is void because of any error occurring subsequent to the declaration, then the tax collector, with the approval of the auditor, shall cancel the power to sell in the form prescribed by the Controller. The cancellation shall be acknowledged, without charge, and shall be recorded with the county recorder, without charge.

The fact and date of the cancellation shall be entered on the abstract or electronic data processing records.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 497, Sec. 27. Effective January 1, 1999.)

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