Frequently Asked Questions During COVID19

and the new deadline date of May 4, 2020


Q:  What if I am quarantined and unable to make my tax payment in person on May 4th?

A:  There are other options available to make your property tax payment besides appearing in person.  The San Mateo County Tax Collector accepts most electronic payments, credit card payments over the phone, checks and money orders in addition to cash.   Your bank may also be able to schedule a payment from your account through bill pay.  Electronic payments MUST BE RECEIVED no later than 11:59PM on 5/4/2020 to not be assessed a penalty.  If you are quarantined and unable to take advantage of alternate payment options provided, your tax collector may be able to waive any penalties or interest because Revenue and Taxation Code Section 4985.2 grants authority for delays beyond the taxpayer’s control. Justifiable documentation to support your appeal will be requested.

Q: Does the May 4th extension only pertain to the 2nd installment of secured taxes?


Q: How can I find out what my payment options are to make sure I don’t have to pay penalties? 

A: County tax collectors must accept all forms of legal tender: checks drawn on a US Bank  denominated in US Dollars, cash, money orders, cashiers checks, electronic funds transfer, credit card online and by phone. Most banks offer a free or low-cost electronic bill pay service to their customers.  Payments are not delinquent if postmarked by May 4, 2020.  Please Note: The USPS may have COVID19 impacts that cause a delay in delivery services even if mail is submitted to them timely.  Please ensure you either have your payment hand cancelled at the USPS counter or purchase a certificate of delivery.  We cannot waive penalties associated with payments received with a postmark AFTER 5/4/2020.  Electronic payments MUST BE RECEIVED by 11:59PM on 5/4/2020.   

Q: Will office hours be available in all locations on May 4th?

A: All three offices will be open on 4/30, 5/1 and 5/4 to accept CASH PAYMENTS ONLY.  We continue to request that taxpayers use alternate methods besides paying in person to avoid crowds and long lines.  To maintain social distancing, taxpayers will be provided entry by staff manning the doors.  Masks will be required to gain admittance.

Office hours are as follows:




Q: I want to pay by check and get a receipt.  How can I do that if you’re only accepting cash payments at the counter?

A: We will be happy to send you a receipt.   Include a request for a receipt within your remittance envelope and include a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Q: I have been negatively impacted by COVID19 and can’t make my property tax payment.  What can I do?

A: If you are unable to pay the 2nd installment of your property tax due to impacts of COVID19 and receive a penalty letter as a result, you may submit an appeal form with required documentation to be considered for a penalty waiver. Under the current circumstances, the Tax Collector will do everything possible, allowable by law, to assist in the penalty appeal process.  A COVID19-specific appeal form will be available AFTER the 5/4/2020 due date.  Appeal forms are not currently available and may not be submitted prior to penalties being assessed.

For payment information for each county, please visit:

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