Penalty Waiver / Refund Request

The Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector will review your waiver request in accordance with the the San Francisco Business and Tax Regulations Code (and/or the California Revenue & Taxation Code where applicable)  which allow the Office to waive or cancel penalties, costs, fees or interest in certain, limited cases.

The waiver review process may take up to six weeks.  Unpaid balances will continue to accrue additional penalties and interest which are the responsibility of the tax payers should  the waiver request be denied.

We encourage taxpayers to provide any documentation supporting their waiver request.  You will have an opportunity to upload your supporting documents during the DocuSign process at the end of the application.

Do Not Apply for Penalty Waivers Before the Tax Deadline

Please do not apply for penalty waivers before the tax deadline.  Penalty waivers will not be accepted until after the deadline. 

  • Did not receive a notice or bill
  • Forgot to file and/or pay
  • Not knowing Personal Identification Number (PIN) or Location Identification Number (LIN)
  • First late payment
  • Responsible person is no longer with the company
  • Payment arrived after delinquent date with no postmark from US Postal Service
  • Confused by bill, unsure of what to pay
  • Can’t afford tax payment

When should I expect a decision to be made?

Waiver requests are processed in the order that they are received. Normal processing time is about 6 weeks, but may be longer after filing deadlines.

How will I know the decision? Should I call?

No, there is no need to call unless it has been more than twelve weeks from your submission date. The Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector will contact you by mail with a final decision.

If my request for waiver is approved I will have an overpayment on my account. What should I do?

This request for waiver constitutes a request for refund, so if your waiver is granted and you have an overpayment on your account, we will consider it a request for refund and will process it. 

What if I haven’t paid and get a waiver?

Our office encourages taxpayers to pay all outstanding tax bills. Penalties and interest will continue to accrue on all unpaid obligations.

If my waiver request is denied, is there an appeal process?

If you do not agree with the decision, you may be entitled to file a claim with the Office of the City Attorney. The forms are available online at

Who makes the decision to approve or deny my waiver request?

The California Revenue & Taxation Code and the San Francisco Business and Tax Regulations Code are very specific about circumstances under which the Tax Collector is allowed to waive penalties. By law, we are required to use these standards when reviewing all requests.

Should I also send my request through the mail/email?

No. Submitting a request via the online web form is the fastest way to ensure we have received your request. Submitting duplicate requests, either by mail or electronically, may cause delays.

Is there a file size limit?

The total of all attachments may not exceed 25MB.


Request a Business Tax Refund

To request a refund of an amount overpaid for any business tax, fee, penalty, or interest; complete and submit the Request for Business Tax or Fee Refund form.  Please read the instructions on the back of the form and include all supporting documentation.   

Every effort will be made to process the request sooner, however please allow up to 6 months from the date the request is filed for processing of the refund. 

Need Further Assistance?

Visit our Help Center to submit a question.  Questions submitted before 7:00 pm will receive a response on the SAME DAY. Questions submitted after 7:00 pm will receive a response by the next business day.