Code Section Group

Revenue and Taxation Code - RTC


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


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

CHAPTER 5. Refunds [5096 - 5170]

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

ARTICLE 2.5. Interest on Refunds [5150.5 - 5153]
  ( Article 2.5 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 499. )


In any action in which the recovery of a penalty assessed pursuant to paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subdivision (c) of Section 830 is allowed by the court, the plaintiff shall be entitled to interest on the penalties for which recovery is allowed, at the applicable rate or rates in effect from time to time and payable on a refund of tax, as provided in Section 5151. This interest shall be payable from the date of filing of the claim for refund, but in no event earlier than the date of payment of the penalty or installments thereof sought to be refunded, to the date of entry of judgment. This accrued interest shall be included in the judgment.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 352, Sec. 12. (SB 948) Effective January 1, 2012.)


(a) Interest at the greater of 3 percent per annum or the county pool apportioned rate shall be paid, when that interest is ten dollars ($10) or more, on any amount refunded under Section 5096.7, or refunded to a taxpayer for any reason whatsoever. However, no interest shall be paid under the provisions of this section if the taxpayer has been given the notice required by Section 2635 and has failed to apply for the refund within 30 days after the mailing of that notice. For purposes of this section, “county pool apportioned rate” means the annualized rate of interest earned on the total amount of pooled idle funds from all accounts held by the county treasurer, in excess of the county treasurer’s administrative costs with respect to that amount, as of June 30 of the fiscal year preceding the date the refund is calculated by the auditor. For each fiscal year, the county treasurer shall advise the Controller of the county pool apportioned rate, and of computations made in deriving that rate, no later than 90 days after the end of that fiscal year. Any interest paid on a refund at a rate provided for by this subdivision as it read prior to January 1, 2009, shall be deemed to be correct.

(b) The interest rate provided for in subdivision (a) does not apply to interest on refunds of those amounts of tax that became due and payable before March 1, 1993. Interest on refunds of amounts of a qualified tax shall be paid at that rate provided for by this section as it read prior to January 1, 1993. As used in this section, a “qualified tax” means a tax that became due and payable before March 1, 1993, and had not been refunded as of April 6, 1995. This subdivision shall not be construed to affect the interest paid on refunds of those amounts of tax that became due and payable before March 1, 1993, and have been refunded as of April 6, 1995.

(c) (1) The interest computation period shall commence with the date of payment of the tax when any of the following applies:

(A) A timely application for reduction in an assessment was filed, without regard to whether the refund ultimately results from a judgment or order of a court, an order of a board of equalization or assessment appeals board, or an assessor’s correction to the assessment roll.

(B) The refund is pursuant to a roll correction resulting from the determination or adjustment by the assessor or a local assessment appeals board of a base year value.

(C) The refund results from a correction to the assessment roll pursuant to Section 4831 or 4876.

(2) Interest on refunds of taxes on property acquired by a public agency in eminent domain shall accrue from the date of recordation of the deed.

(3) In all other cases the interest computation period shall commence on the date of filing a claim for refund or payment of the tax, whichever is later. However, in the event of the granting of property tax relief pursuant to Section 69, 69.3, or 170, interest is not payable on any resulting refund of taxes, provided that payment of that refund of taxes is made within 120 days after the county assessor has sent authorization for the reduction to the county auditor.

(d) The computation of interest shall terminate as of a date within 30 days of the date of mailing or personal delivery of the refund payment.

(e) The interest charged shall be apportioned to the appropriate funds, as determined by the county auditor.

(f) The amendments made to this section by Section 4 of Chapter 801 of the Statutes of 1996 shall apply to all refunds made after January 1, 1997.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 161, Sec. 3. (AB 2643) Effective January 1, 2013.)


In an action in which the recovery of taxes is allowed by the court, if the court finds that the void assessment or void portion of the assessment was made in violation of a specific provision of the Constitution of the State of California, of this division, or of a rule or regulation of the board, and the assessor should have followed the procedures set forth in Section 538 in lieu of making the assessment, the plaintiff shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees as costs in addition to the other allowable costs. This section is ancillary only, and shall not be construed to create a new cause of action nor to be in lieu of any other provision of law.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1188.)


Notwithstanding Sections 5150 and 5151, whenever the auditor has impounded revenues pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 26906.1 of the Government Code and those revenues are ultimately used to provide a refund of tax to the affected taxpayer or taxpayers, interest due to the taxpayer or taxpayers for the period that those funds were impounded shall be calculated and paid at the rate, or rates where the applicable rate fluctuated, earned by the county on those revenues during the period of impoundment.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 387, Sec. 9. Effective January 1, 1994.)

RTCRevenue and Taxation Code - RTC2.5.