Alameda County Tax Collector and Treasurer Henry C. Levy on Monday unveiled the policies and procedures by which his office will process applications for waiver of penalties and interest related to property tax payments in arrears caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
The second installment of property taxes for the 2019-20 fiscal year is due last Friday (April 10), but many residents across the county have been physically and financially affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting order of shelter. in the place.
Levy announced earlier this month that his office would implement a program to allow homeowners affected by the coronavirus to receive some financial relief during the pandemic by eliminating tax delinquency penalties and other associated costs for those who were unable to pay on time.
It released details about those policies and procedures, including the waiver request, Monday morning.
“(My) will consider requests for waivers of penalties, interest and costs for back taxes if the reason for the late payment is due to proven circumstances related to COVID-19, such as health or financial problems for the taxpayer, and that the failure to pay was due to circumstances beyond the control of the taxpayer, “Levy said.
California property taxes are due in two installments during the tax year.
This year, the last day to pay the second installment without accruing a late payment penalty was April 10. Many local county tax collectors and their California County Tax Collectors and Treasurers Association said they could not change the deadline, arguing that the sole power to move the date rests with the State Legislature, which did not take such action.
But two Bay Area counties, San Francisco and San Mateo, opted for their own solution to delay the actual expiration date until after the refugee order is lifted, through a provision in state law that allows the deadline is postponed if the county tax collector’s office is closed by action of the Board of Supervisors. The San Francisco Chronicle was the first to report the movements of those counties.
Alameda County took no such action. Although the Tax Collector’s Office offices in Oakland and Hayward have been closed to the public amid the shelter order, the department has remained open for employees to perform regular staff work, including processing payments.
Levy announced April 1 that it would be designing a program for affected residents to apply for a waiver of late payment penalties.
In detailing the new program on Monday, the Tax Collector’s Office also published the policy and instructions, as well as the application form, in its website.
First, the delinquency must be due to circumstances related to the coronavirus beyond the control of taxpayers, according to Levy.
“All taxpayers will be required to provide documentation of the reason related to COVID-19. Examples of such documentation are in the policy found online. Taxpayers will be required to sign under penalty of perjury,” he said.
To qualify, a taxpayer must have already paid their first 2019-20 installment.
Levy’s office will review penalty waiver requests on a case-by-case basis, beginning Monday. “Taxpayers must pay their taxes in full before the exemption request is reviewed,” he said. “Qualified exemption requests will not be processed until payments are made.”
This process will remain in effect until May 4, the current expiration date of Alameda County’s refugee order, and new policies will be announced in the future, according to Levy.
For more information, visit the Tax Collector’s Office Website or call 510-272-6800.