But local tax officials say they are accepting applications for penalty waivers from those unable to pay on time because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Friday, April 10 remains the deadline for Californians to pay the second installment of their property taxes.
Tax collectors in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties have said they will consider waiving late fees on a case-by-case basis for those unable to pay on time because they were ill or lost income because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Starting Saturday, April 11, Los Angeles County property owners can submit a request for penalty cancellation if unable to pay on time. In Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, taxpayers need to fill out a penalty cancellation form stating the reasons they were late.
The deadline applies to those property owners who don’t include tax and insurance payments in their monthly mortgage bills.
“I am going to be able to grant penalty cancellations for homeowners, small businesses and others that have had significant economic hardship due to the COVID-19,” Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector Shari Freidenrich recently told the county’s Board of Supervisors.
Freidenrich said Orange County had received about 85% of the current taxes due – on par with last year’s pace of collections.
Despite pressure by taxpayer groups to extend the deadline, California cities and counties lobbied against an extension, saying local cities, schools and other public entities desperately need revenue to address the outbreak.
“I understand that this is a very stressful time, especially for those suffering direct effects from this public health crisis, and my office is committed to helping in any way we can,” Los Angeles County Treasurer and Tax Collector Keith Knox said in a statement.
But, the statement added, “we have no authority to extend the April 10 deadline.”
Tax collectors in the region urged property owners to pay by check or to pay online since their offices are closed to those wanting to make their payments in person. Payments by eCheck are free, but there is a service charge for credit and debit card payments.
Payments by mail must have an April 10 postmark.