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 5. Refunds [5096 - 5170]

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

ARTICLE 1. Refunds Generally [5096 - 5107]
  ( Article 1 enacted by Stats. 1939, Ch. 154. )

5096.
  

Any taxes paid before or after delinquency shall be refunded if they were:

(a) Paid more than once.

(b) Erroneously or illegally collected.

(c) Illegally assessed or levied.

(d) Paid on an assessment in excess of the ratio of assessed value to the full value of the property as provided in Section 401 by reason of the assessor’s clerical error or excessive or improper assessments attributable to erroneous property information supplied by the assessee.

(e) Paid on an assessment of improvements when the improvements did not exist on the lien date.

(f) Paid on an assessment in excess of the value of the property as determined pursuant to Section 1614 by the county assessment appeals board.

(g) Paid on an assessment in excess of the value of the property as determined by the assessor pursuant to Section 469.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 352, Sec. 10. (SB 948) Effective January 1, 2012.)

5096.1.
  

Except as hereinafter provided, taxes collected on behalf of a local agency from a taxpayer whose property has been annexed to a second local agency but was not detached from the first local agency due to error or inadvertence shall be deemed to have been erroneously collected for purposes of Section 5096 if the governing board of the first local agency makes a finding by resolution that detachment proceedings were not commenced due to excusable neglect. If the first local agency is a fire protection district the governing body of the annexing agency may make the finding by resolution that detachment proceedings were not commenced following annexation due to excusable neglect. For purposes of determining the amount of the refund the property shall be deemed to have been detached from the first local agency on the date annexation proceedings were completed.

This section shall not apply to taxes which would be collectible under authority of Government Code Section 56492 even though the annexed property had been detached from the special district.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 164.)

5096.3.
  

(a) To dispose of certain lawsuits and assessment appeals that have been filed, and to preclude the filing of other claims relating to (1) the assessment, equalization, and assessability of certain possessory interests in publicly owned airports and (2) aircraft valuation and equalization by Alaska Airlines, Inc., American Airlines, Inc., Continental Airlines, Inc., Delta Air Lines, Inc., Federal Express Corporation, Northwest Airlines, Inc., Trans World Airlines, Inc., United Airlines, Inc., United Parcel Service, U.S. Airways, Inc., Wings West Airlines, Southwest Airlines, America West Airlines, in their own right or as successors in interest, counties shall provide future tax credits in the following amounts:

Alameda  ........................

$ 4,455,110

Contra Costa  ........................

1,000

El Dorado  ........................

1,000

Fresno  ........................

264,630

Humboldt  ........................

500

Kern  ........................

33,540

Los Angeles  ........................

18,335,720

Monterey  ........................

148,560

Orange  ........................

2,916,995

Riverside  ........................

435,780

Sacramento  ........................

1,070,185

San Bernardino  ........................

1,991,405

San Diego  ........................

4,262,610

San Joaquin  ........................

1,000

San Mateo  ........................

13,544,005

Santa Barbara  ........................

167,880

Santa Clara  ........................

2,369,080

Solano  ........................

1,000

(b) The credits identified in subdivision (a) will be allowed in equal amounts for the 1998–99 fiscal year to the 2002–03 fiscal year, inclusive, and may be credited by the counties against one or more tax bills of the airline entitled to the credit. The credits identified in subdivision (a) shall be allocated among the airlines in accordance with a schedule to be established and agreed upon by the airlines identified in subdivision (a). The airlines shall, through a designated representative, provide to each county listed in subdivision (a), before the effective date of this measure, the detail of the allocation of the credits among the various airlines. In no instance shall a county be required to provide a credit to any airline in any year that exceeds the total tax due from that airline to that county for that year. The airlines’ designated representative may submit revised instructions not later than June 30 preceding the beginning of the fiscal year in which the credits are to be adjusted, but in no event may the credit for any county in any year be increased beyond the levels set out in subdivisions (a) and (b) for any fiscal year.

(c) In addition to the credits provided in subdivision (a), each county shall allow a credit against any escape assessment upon certificated aircraft levied on or after April 1, 1998, under subdivision (b) of Section 401.15 for tax years up to and including the 1997–98 fiscal year to the extent the escape assessment is based upon the cost established in sale/leaseback or assignment of purchase rights transaction. The amount of the credit shall be equal to the tax on one-half of the value increase, plus interest and penalties attributable to use of the sale/leaseback or assignment of purchase rights transaction amount to determine value pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 401.15.

(d) Upon enrollment of any escape assessment contemplated in subdivision (a) of Section 401.15, the county assessor shall provide the county auditor with the information necessary to calculate the credit required in subdivision (c) of this section.

(e) No county shall be required to provide the credits specified in subdivisions (a) and (b) unless all airlines named in subdivision (a) who also have assessments in that county have entered into a settlement agreement or executed a waiver with that county. No county shall be required to provide the credits specified in subdivision (c) unless the airline otherwise entitled to that credit has entered into a settlement agreement or executed a waiver with that county. The settlement agreement or waiver shall include a waiver of all statutory and constitutional rights with respect to pending and future challenges to valuation and equalization of certificated aircraft through the 2003–04 fiscal year, provided that the assessments are established in conformance with Section 401.15, and all statutory and constitutional rights to challenge valuation, equalization and assessability of possessory interests in publicly owned airports (other than interests stated in a written agreement for terminal, cargo, hangar, automobile parking lots, storage and maintenance facilities, and other buildings and the land thereunder leased in whole or in part by an airline), provided that the valuations made for the 1998–99 fiscal year and thereafter are established in conformance with Section 107.9. At the discretion of a county, the airlines may be required to file waivers in that county in lieu of entering into a settlement agreement. Upon the execution of a settlement agreement or waiver by the airlines named in subdivision (a) that also have assessments in a county, that county listed in subdivision (a) shall be required to provide the credits set out in this section. Nothing in this section precludes claims concerning allocation of aircraft values.

(f) With respect to America West Airlines only, the waiver or settlement agreement required by subdivision (e) may exclude the claims that America West Airlines has already raised in the adversary proceedings in the bankruptcy proceeding entitled “In Re America West Airlines, Inc., Case No. 91-07505 PHX-RGM” against the Counties of Orange, San Bernardino, Sacramento, San Mateo, Alameda, and San Diego, provided that the settlement agreements or waivers under subdivision (e) provide that the resolution of any of America West’s adversary claims will have no legal effect for any tax year not at issue in those adversary proceedings. This section and Sections 107.9 and 401.15 do not abrogate, rescind, preclude, or otherwise affect any separate settlement agreement entered into prior to the effective date of this section between a county and an airline concerning the subject matter of this section and Sections 107.9 and 401.15 with respect to those tax years expressly settled by any agreement as so described. However, no settlement agreement as so described may be used to challenge the assessment and valuation provided by these sections for any tax year after the 1997–98 fiscal year or any tax year not expressly settled by that agreement.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 86, Sec. 3. Effective June 30, 1998.)

5096.5.
  

Any taxes paid which were not erroneously or illegally collected under the law as it existed at the time of collection, but for which an exemption is provided by a retroactive constitutional amendment, shall be refunded after compliance with the provisions of this article, except that the claim for refund may be filed at any time within four years after the date such amendment became effective, or the date that this section became effective, whichever is later.

(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 532, Sec. 48.)

5096.7.
  

If taxes have been paid on property acquired by negotiated purchase by any public entity designated in Section 5081 after the commencement of the fiscal year for which the taxes are a lien on the property, the portion of such taxes which are allocable to that part of the fiscal year which begins on the date of apportionment determined pursuant to Section 5082 and made uncollectible if unpaid by virtue of Section 5086, shall be deemed erroneously collected and shall be refunded to the person who has paid the tax, where the person was not otherwise reimbursed for that portion of the taxes by the public entity which acquired the property.

Refunds under this section shall be applicable to taxes paid on either the secured or unsecured rolls.

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

5096.8.
  

(a) In the case where a reduction in a base year value of real property results in a supplemental assessment for the value of the reduction being levied and charged to a subsequent owner of that property, that portion of any refund, due and owing to a former owner of that property, in the amount of the taxes on the reduction in base value after the former owner sold or transferred ownership of the property, shall be applied to satisfy that supplemental assessment.

(b) Any person claiming a refund due to a reduction in base year value shall certify under penalty of perjury whether he or she has sold or transferred ownership of the property to any other person, and if so, the date of sale or transfer.

(c) This section shall not apply in any county unless the board of supervisors adopts a resolution by majority vote to make the provisions of this section applicable in the county.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 974, Sec. 4.)

5097.
  

(a) An order for a refund under this article shall not be made, except on a claim:

(1) Verified by the person who paid the tax, his or her guardian, executor, trustee, or administrator.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3) or (4), filed within four years after making the payment sought to be refunded, or within one year after the mailing of notice as prescribed in Section 2635, or the period agreed to as provided in Section 532.1, or within 60 days of the date of the notice prescribed by subdivision (a) of Section 4836, whichever is later.

(3) (A) Filed within one year, if an application for a reduction in an assessment or an application for equalization of an assessment has been filed pursuant to Section 1603 and the applicant does not state in the application that the application is intended to constitute a claim for a refund, of either of the following events, whichever occurs first:

(i) After the county assessment appeals board makes a final determination on the application for reduction in assessment or on the application for equalization of an escape assessment of the property, and mails a written notice of its determination to the applicant and the notice does not advise the applicant to file a claim for refund.

(ii) After the expiration of the time period specified in subdivision (c) of Section 1604 if the county assessment appeals board fails to hear evidence and fails to make a final determination on the application for reduction in assessment or on the application for equalization of an escape assessment of the property.

(B) Filed within six months, if an application for a reduction in an assessment or an application for equalization of an assessment has been filed pursuant to Section 1603 and the applicant does not state in the application that the application is intended to constitute a claim for a refund, after the county assessment appeals board makes a final determination on the application for reduction in assessment or on the application for equalization of an escape assessment, and mails a written notice of its determination to the applicant and the notice advises the applicant to file a claim for refund within six months of the date of the county assessment appeals board’s final determination.

(4) Filed within eight years after making the payment sought to be refunded, or within 60 days of the notice prescribed by subdivision (a) of Section 4836, whichever is later, if the claim for refund is filed on or after January 1, 2015, and relates to the disabled veterans’ exemption described in Section 205.5.

(b) An application for a reduction in an assessment filed pursuant to Section 1603 shall also constitute a sufficient claim for refund under this section if the applicant states in the application that the application is intended to constitute a claim for refund. If the applicant does not so state, he or she may thereafter and within the period provided in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) file a separate claim for refund of taxes extended on the assessment which the applicant applied to have reduced pursuant to Section 1603 or 1604.

(c) If an application for equalization of an escape assessment is filed pursuant to Section 1603, a claim may be filed on any taxes resulting from the escape assessment or the original assessment to which the escape relates within the period provided in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a).

(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), an order for a refund under this article may be made without a claim pursuant to Section 5105.

(e) The amendments made to this section by Chapter 656 of the Statutes of 2014 apply to claims for refund filed on or after January 1, 2015.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 358, Sec. 1. (SB 1246) Effective January 1, 2019.)

5097.02.
  

The claim shall be in writing, specifying:

(a) Whether the whole assessment is claimed to be void or, if only a part, what portion.

(b) The grounds on which the claim is founded.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 499.)

5097.03.
  

When a claim for refund of taxes is filed, the amount of tax computed on the portion of the assessment not in dispute shall not be impounded.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 499.)

5097.2.
  

Notwithstanding Sections 5096 and 5097, any taxes paid before or after delinquency may be refunded by the county tax collector or the county auditor, within four years after the date of payment, if:

(a) Paid more than once.

(b) The amount paid exceeds the amount due on the property as shown on the roll by an amount greater than ten dollars ($10).

(c) The amount paid exceeds the amount due on the property as the result of corrections to the roll or cancellations after those taxes were paid.

(d) In any other case, where a claim for refund is made under penalty of perjury and is for an amount less than ten dollars ($10).

(e) The amount paid exceeds the amount due on the property as the result of a reduction attributable to a hearing before an assessment appeals board or an assessment hearing officer.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 352, Sec. 11. (SB 948) Effective January 1, 2012.)

5097.3.
  

Notwithstanding any other law, any taxes paid before or after delinquency may be refunded by the county tax collector or the county auditor, within eight years after the date of payment, if the amount paid exceeds the amount due on the property as the result of corrections to the roll that relate to the disabled veterans’ exemption described in Section 205.5.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 871, Sec. 4. (SB 1458) Effective September 30, 2016.)

5099.
  

The refund ordered by the board of supervisors may include county taxes and taxes collected by county officers for a city or revenue district.

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

5100.
  

The part of the refund representing amounts paid to the State shall be paid from the county general fund and, when the auditor renders the report which he is required to make to the Controller showing the amount due the State as of the last day of the month preceding the settlement which the county treasurer is required to have with the Controller, the auditor shall certify this amount refunded to the Controller, in the form prescribed by the Controller. On the next settlement of the county treasurer with the State, the Controller, if satisfied of the legality of the refund, shall give the county treasurer credit for the State’s portion of the refund.

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

5101.
  

Refunds ordered by the board of supervisors under this article in respect of county taxes shall be paid by warrant drawn upon the appropriate fund by the county auditor. Refunds ordered in respect of revenue districts, except chartered cities, may be paid by a warrant drawn by the county auditor, upon such available funds, if any, as the revenue district may have on deposit in the county treasury, or in the event such funds are insufficient, then out of funds subsequently accruing to such revenue district and on deposit in the county treasury. Refunds ordered in respect of chartered cities shall be paid in the manner provided for their payment in the charter or ordinances of the city. Neither any county nor its officers shall refund amounts on behalf of a revenue district from county funds.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 664.)

5102.
  

If any payment may be refunded under this article and no claim is filed within the time allowed, the payment may be transferred to the county general fund on order of the board of supervisors.

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

5103.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a taxpayer and the county or city and county may enter into a written settlement agreement to substitute credits against a taxpayer’s future tax liabilities for the payment by the county or city and county to that taxpayer of refunds of tax and any interest accrued thereon. Interest may continue to accrue upon a substituted credit until that credit has been fully offset against future tax liabilities. The authority of a county or city and county to provide for tax credits in accordance with this section shall be vested in that branch of the county or city and county government that is authorized to settle legal disputes on behalf of the county or city and county.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 87, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1999.)

5104.
  

Any refund of taxes or assessments authorized pursuant to this article as a result of a reduction in the value of taxable property or as the result of corrections to the roll or cancellations after taxes or assessments were paid, may be paid to the latest recorded owner of that property as shown on the tax roll, rather than to the individual or entity who paid the amount of tax or assessment to be refunded, if both of the following conditions are met:

(a) There has been no transfer of the property during or since the fiscal year for which the taxes subject to refund were levied.

(b) The amount of the refund is less than five thousand dollars ($5,000).

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 199, Sec. 13. Effective January 1, 2004.)

5105.
  

(a) Notwithstanding Section 5097, an order for refund of taxes or assessments authorized pursuant to this article may be paid to the assessee of that property, or to the latest recorded owner of that property, as shown on the tax roll, without a claim for refund filed, if both of the following conditions are met:

(1) There has been no transfer of the property during or since the fiscal year for which the taxes subject to refund were levied.

(2) The amount of the refund is less than five thousand dollars ($5,000).

(b) This section shall become operative in a county only if the board of supervisors of the county adopts a resolution or ordinance approving the operation of this section.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 358, Sec. 2. (SB 1246) Effective January 1, 2019. Conditionally operative as prescribed by its own provisions.)

5106.
  

Where the taxes sought to be refunded or recovered have been paid after delinquency, the amount of penalties, interest or costs refundable or recoverable under this article shall be computed only on the taxes refunded or recovered.

(Added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 664.)

5107.
  

As used in this article, “tax” or “taxes” includes penalties, interest, and costs.

(Added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 664.)

RTCRevenue and Taxation Code - RTC1