Unclaimed Property Tax Refunds


California Revenue and Taxation Code sections 5097 and 5102 provide that property tax refunds which remain unclaimed for four (4) years may be transferred (escheated) to the county general fund on order of the board of supervisors. At the end of the four-year period, those items in excess of $10 must be published as notification that the money will become the property of the county after a designated date if it is left unclaimed. Escheatment to the general fund occurs if a verified claim is not filed by the designated date forty-five days after the date of publication. After this date, money left unclaimed will become the property of the county and can no longer be claimed.

The County of Tulare Property Tax Division is currently in possession of Unclaimed Property Tax Refunds. Property tax refunds generally result from reassessment of your property. The Assessor's Office website provides an explanation of the Assessment Appeals process. The Clerk of the Board provides instructions and forms for the Assessment Appeals process

Once the Assessor or the Assessment Appeals Boards makes the decision to reduce the assessed value of a property, the Controller adjusts the assessed value on the official tax roll which is used to calculate the property tax bill. A refund is made if the taxpayer had paid the tax based on the old assessed value. On average, refunds or claims for refunds are mailed out within fifteen days of receipt of roll change request received from the Assessor's Office. Search online by parcel number or address to locate and view your refund.

The list only includes items for the past 4 years. Current year refunds are in process and generally do not become "unclaimed" until at least six months.

There are three easy steps to claim your refund.

CLAIM PROCESS

STEP 1
To locate the property you are interested in click on the list below:
STEP 2

Print and complete the Claim for Property Tax Refund form.

You must SIGN the claim form or your claim will be returned. Make sure you have read the instructions and made copies of all required documents.

STEP 3

After completing and signing the Claim For Property Tax Refund Form, send it to:

Tulare County Auditor-Controller
Claim for Property Tax Refund
221 S Mooney Blvd. RM 101-E
Visalia CA 93291


Q: WHY DO REFUNDS GO UNCLAIMED?

A: The Property Tax Division makes all reasonable and diligent efforts to notify tax payers of their refund. Nevertheless, refunds may remain unclaimed for some of the following reasons:

  • The taxpayer moves before the refund is mailed and leaves no forwarding address
  • Death of the recipient
  • The taxpayer does not cash the refund check


Q: HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE TO CLAIM A REFUND?

A: You have four years to claim a refund. After four years, unclaimed refunds may be turned over to the County’s General Fund through a process called “escheatment.” While escheatment is the legal alternative, the Tax Collector’s primary goal is to return tax overpayments to their rightful owners.

Contact the Property Tax Accounting Staff if you have questions relating to refunds.