Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2017

Revenue and Taxation Code

Property Taxation

Part 2. Assessment

Chapter 3. Assessment Generally

Article 4. Property Escaping Assessment

Section 531.4

531.4. Escaped business property; inaccurate statement or report. When an assessee files with the assessor a property statement or report on a form prescribed by the board with respect to property held or used in a profession, trade or business and the statement fails to report any taxable tangible property accurately, regardless of whether this information is available to the assessee, to the extent that this failure causes the assessor not to assess the property or to assess it at a lower valuation than he would enter on the roll if the property had been reported to him accurately, that portion of the property which is not reported accurately, in whole or in part, shall be assessed as required by law. If the failure to report the property accurately is willful or fraudulent, the penalty and interest provided in Sections 504 and 506 shall be added to the additional assessment; otherwise only the interest provided in Section 506 shall be added.

History.—Added by Stats. 1969, p. 3164, in effect November 10, 1969.

Construction.—The word "shall" in this section must be construed as mandatory so that mandamus will lie to compel immediate performance of the assessor's duty in order to avoid loss due to the running of the statute of limitations. Knoff v. San Francisco, 1 Cal.App.3d 184.

Right to recover accrues on lien date.—The right to recover taxes on business inventories escaping assessment as a result of inaccuracies in the taxpayer's property statements accrued on the lien date of the fiscal year in which the escape occurred and the law as it then existed must govern the assessment. The statutory scheme for escape assessments embodies the principle that the right to taxes on escape property accrues on the lien date, not on the date of entry on the tax roll. California Computer Products, Inc. v. Orange County, 107 Cal.App.3d 731; General Dynamics Corporation v. San Diego County, 108 Cal.App.3d 132.