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State of California Franchise Tax Board

If I pay my taxes late, what interest and penalties will I be charged?


An underpayment penalty will be charged when taxes are not paid by the due date. The penalty is 5 percent of the unpaid tax as of the due date plus 1/2 of 1 percent each month, or part of a month the tax remains unpaid, not to exceed 40 months. The maximum penalty is 25 percent of the total unpaid tax.

A delinquent penalty will be charged on unpaid taxes if a return is filed late. The penalty is 5 percent of the unpaid tax due for every month that the return is late, up to a maximum penalty of 25 percent of the unpaid tax. The minimum penalty is $135 for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2011, (before January 1, 2011 is $100) or 100 percent of the unpaid tax, whichever is less.

There are also other penalties that can be imposed such as for a check returned for insufficient funds, negligence, substantial understatement of tax and fraud.

Interest will be charged on any delinquent or late payment from the original due date of the return to the date paid. In addition, if other penalties are not paid within 15 days of the date of the notice, interest will be charged from the date of the billing notice until the date of payment. Interest compounds daily and the interest rate is adjusted twice a year.

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