Relief Request – Frequently Asked Questions

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A. General Questions

What are the benefits of submitting a relief request online?

Submitting a relief request online is convenient, fast, and secure. Your request will be acknowledged immediately and in most cases, processed immediately. If you log in with your User ID, you will be able to view the status of your request after you submit it.

Is there a cost to submit a relief request online?

No, there is no cost.

Can I submit an online relief request at any time?

Yes, with the exception of Sunday from 7:00 p.m. to Monday at 5:00 a.m., Pacific Time, when our system is down for weekly routine maintenance.

When can I submit a relief request?

You may submit a relief request if you received a billing notice or statement of account from BOE. If you recently submitted your return and/or payment, allow five business days for BOE to process your electronic return and/or payment submissions or up to six weeks if mailed, prior to submitting your relief request. Your filing and payment must be posted to your account in order for your request to be considered.

Is submitting my relief information over the Internet secure?

Yes, BOE uses the latest technology to ensure the safety and security of taxpayer information.

How do I login to submit a relief request online?

You may login using your User ID or Express Login. For more information about these methods, click here.

Do I have to enable pop-ups to complete an online relief request?

Yes, to ensure proper functionality, you must allow pop-ups.

What if I need help while I'm completing an online relief request?

Online help is available while you are completing your request. Just click on the help icons identified by a ehelp. You may also contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY:711), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific time, excluding state holidays.

Will I receive confirmation that my request was received?

Yes, you will receive a confirmation number immediately upon submitting your request. You can print this page for your records. If you want to return to the confirmation page after leaving the system you will need to login using your User ID. For more information about obtaining a User ID, click here.

How do I sign an online relief request?

No original signature is necessary. Filling out the "Declaration of Intent to Submit an Online Relief Request" is sufficient.

How long will it take for my request to be processed?

Once submitted, your request may be processed immediately. Some requests may require further review or approval and are generally processed within 30 days. However, if approval by the Board Members is required, the process may take 90 to 120 days to complete.

Can I check the status of my request online if further review or approval is required?

Yes, however you must obtain a User ID to check the status of your request online. For more information about obtaining a User ID, click here. If you do not have a User ID, you may contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY:711), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific time, excluding state holidays.

How can I expedite the process?

Generally, the tax or fee must be paid in full and, if applicable, your return for the period you are requesting relief must have been filed before you request relief.

If my request is granted and I previously paid the granted amount, how long will it take for me to receive a refund?

Generally, you should receive a refund within 8 to 12 weeks; however, if you have other liabilities, your refund may be applied to these liabilities first.

If BOE was unable to process my request, what can I do?

You should have received a list of possible reasons why BOE was unable to process your request. Once those issues are resolved, you may submit a new request. For example, if BOE was not able to process your request for relief from penalty because the tax or fee was not paid in full.

What can I do if my request was denied and I do not agree?

Declarations of Timely Mailing and Extensions of Time to File a Return that have been denied can be resubmitted online if you have new or additional information for BOE to consider. For all other relief requests that are denied you must submit a written Request for Reconsideration within 15 days from the date your request was denied. You may mail this request (i.e. letter) to the BOE representative that sent you the denial letter. Your request must provide additional information and an explanation of why you disagree with BOE's decision to deny your relief request.

B. Relief from Penalty

Why did I receive a billing for penalty?

BOE assesses multiple types of penalties. Generally, penalties are assessed because a return and/or payment were not made on or before the due date. For more information on penalties, click here.

How do I know what types of penalties were assessed?

Refer to your Statement of Account or billing notice for an explanation or you may contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY:711), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific time, excluding state holidays.

C. Relief from the Collection Cost Recovery Fee

Why did I receive a billing for a collection cost recovery fee?

BOE assesses this fee on each liability greater than $250 that remains unpaid 90 days following the issuance of a demand notice. See table below.

Liability Amount Fee Amount for years 2011 & 2012 Fee Amount for year 2013
$250.01 – $2,000.00 $185 $190
$2,000.01 – $50,000.00 $550 $570
$50,000.01 and greater $925 $950

When should I submit a request for relief of the Collection Cost Recovery Fee?

Generally, tax/fee, interest, and/or penalty must be paid in full to process your request. If you are also requesting relief of interest and/or penalty, your request for relief of the collection cost recovery fee will be reviewed after those other relief requests have been processed.

I entered into a payment plan before I received a billing for the Collection Cost Recovery Fee. Do I still need to submit a request for relief?

You may be eligible to submit a request for relief if the effective date of your payment arrangement is prior to the assessment date of the Collection Cost Recovery Fee. You should contact your Tax Representative who assisted you in setting up your payment arrangement for assistance.

D. Relief from Interest

Why did I receive a billing for interest?

If your payment was late, you will owe interest. Interest is calculated on a monthly basis, even if a payment is only one day late.

Can I request relief of interest?

There are very limited provisions that authorize BOE to relieve interest. You may submit a relief request only if any of the following reasons apply:

  1. An unreasonable error or delay occurred by a BOE employee caused your payment to be late , or
  2. An error occurred by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in calculating the amount of use tax due on your DMV registered vehicle or vessel occurred.
  3. A disaster occurred and caused a delay in filing a return or making a payment by the due date.

Why is interest due when I'm relieved of prepayment penalties?

Pursuant to Revenue and Taxation Code Section 6592.5, interest on late prepayments is due when relief of penalty has been granted.

E. Relief from Penalty and Interest Due to a Disaster

What does "disaster" mean?

Disaster means fire, flood, storm, tidal wave, earthquake or similar public calamity, whether or not resulting from natural causes.

For more information, please see our State of Emergency Tax Relief guide.

Does my return/prepayment need to be filed and/or tax/fee paid in full prior to submitting my request?

Yes. In order to process your request, your return or prepayment form must be filed and the tax or fee portion due on the return, prepayment or billing must paid in full.

F. Extensions of Time to File a Tax Return

Is there a deadline to file an extension?

Yes. You must file your extension request within one month of the due date.

Why is interest due when my extension has been granted?

BOE is required by law to charge interest on any late payment.

G. Declaration of Timely Mailing

Can anyone submit a Declaration of Timely Mailing?

No, only the person who mailed the return and/or payment can submit the Declaration of Timely Mailing.

Can I submit a Declaration of Timely Mailing request for my return and/or payment filled online?

No, online requests may only be submitted for mailed returns and/or payments. To submit a declaration for a timely payment made via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), click on the following link and follow the instructions on the form BOE-129-EFT, EFT – Electronic Transmission Declaration.

How do I submit proof of mailing information if I submit a relief request online?

Proof of mailing may not be required to process your request, however, please keep the original documents for your records, and be prepared to submit them, if requested.