Penalty Waiver FAQ

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 and 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?

The 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.

Need further assistance?

Submit your question by clicking on the link below. A Representative will contact you on the SAME DAY of the request if submitted prior to 7pm. Requests received after 7pm will receive a response by the next business day.

Submit service request