What happens if I don't pay my taxes on time?

If you do not pay the first installment of your annual tax bill at the Tax Collector’s Office by 5 p.m. on December 10 (if December 10 falls on a weekend or holiday, taxes are not delinquent until 5 p.m. the next business day), or payment is not U.S.P.S. postmarked by that time and date, then the taxes become delinquent and a 10% delinquent penalty is added to any unpaid balance. 

If you fail to pay the second installment at the Tax Collector’s Office by 5 p.m. on April 10 (if April 10 falls on a weekend or holiday, taxes are not delinquent until 5 p.m. the next business day.), or payment is not U.S.P.S. postmarked by that time and date, it becomes delinquent and a 10% penalty plus an administrative charge of $20.00 is added to the unpaid balance. 

If you fail to pay the installments of your supplemental tax bill by the applicable delinquency dates, the same penalties accrue as for delinquent annual taxes.

If you pay your second installment without having paid the first, your payment will be applied to the unpaid taxes and penalties on the first installment and will leave your second installment unpaid and possibly delinquent. 

If you fail to pay either or both installments at the Tax Collector’s Office by 5 p.m. on June 30 (if June 30 falls on a weekend or holiday, taxes must be paid by 5 p.m. on the preceding business day), or payment is not U.S.P.S. postmarked by that time and date, then the property becomes tax-defaulted and additional penalties and costs accrue. 

Once the property has become tax defaulted, a redemption fee of $15 and additional penalties begin to accrue at the rate of 1 1/2% per month of the unpaid taxes. This monthly penalty is added at 5 p.m. on the last day of each month (or the following business day if the last day of the month falls on a weekend or holiday). 

Your taxes can remain unpaid for a maximum of five years following their tax default, after which time your property becomes subject to the power of sale. This means that your property will be sold at a public auction or acquired by a public agency if you do not pay the taxes before the date on which the property is offered for sale or acquisition. 

The amount needed to redeem tax-defaulted property in full is the sum of the following: 

  1. The total amount of unpaid taxes for all delinquent years. 
  2. A 10% penalty on every unpaid installment. 
  3. A $20 administrative charge for each delinquent year. 
  4. Monthly penalties of 1 1/2% of the unpaid taxes accrued date. 
  5. A redemption fee of $15. 

To obtain an estimate of the amount required to redeem your property, you should contact the Tax Collector’s Office at (925) 608-9500. When making your request, you will need to provide the Parcel Number, which you can find on any previous tax bill, the Sale ID (SID) found on your Redemption Tax Notice, or the address of the property. Also, be sure to specify the date on which you wish to redeem so that the penalty can be calculated properly. One year’s delinquent taxes may not be redeemed separately from other years delinquent taxes. When the redemption amount is calculated, the total taxes owed for all delinquent years are combined together.

Show All Answers

1. As a new owner, what do I need to know?
2. What is a Secured tax bill?
3. Are there any exemption programs for Secured taxes?
4. Do I have recourse if I think the assessed value of my property is too high?
5. Do I have the right to appeal the Assessor's Secured assessed value?
6. When are secured property tax bills mailed?
7. How do I change the mailing address on my tax bill?
8. What should I do if I don't receive a secured property tax bill?
9. When are secured property taxes due?
10. What is property tax postponement?
11. What happens if I don't pay my taxes on time?
12. Can I pay less than the amount due?
13. Is my lender paying this bill?
14. What are Special Assessments?
15. What is a Supplemental tax bill?
16. Who may apply for the Installment Plan of Redemption?
17. Is an installment plan available to pay my delinquent taxes?
18. Is there a fee to apply for the installment plan?
19. Does interest continue to accrue while participating in the installment plan?
20. What happens if I do not keep my plan current or up to date?
21. If I don't pay my taxes, when would you sell my house?