(1) Notwithstanding any other law, a purchaser seeking a refund of or credit for a tax collected by a dealer under this chapter must, within 3 years following collection of the tax from the purchaser, submit a written request for the refund or credit to the dealer in accordance with this section. A request shall not be granted unless the amount claimed was collected from the purchaser and was not due to the state or to any local taxing jurisdiction. (a) A request for a refund or credit may be submitted under this section if:
1. The dealer charged and collected the tax with respect to a transaction or charge that was not subject to the communications services taxes imposed by this chapter or chapter 203, or applied a tax rate in excess of the lawful rate.
2. The purchaser or the transaction was exempt or immune from such taxes.
3. The purchaser was assigned to the incorrect local taxing jurisdiction for purposes of the taxes authorized in s. 202.19.
4. The purchaser paid the tax in error.
(b) A purchaser’s request for a refund or credit must be signed by the purchaser and is complete for purposes of this section and the limitation period if it states the purchaser’s name, mailing address, account number, the tax amounts claimed, the specific months during which those amounts were collected, and the reason for the purchaser’s claim that such amounts were not due to the state or to any local taxing jurisdiction. If the reason for the request is an exemption or immunity or a claim that the purchaser was assigned to the incorrect local taxing jurisdiction for purposes of a tax imposed under s. 202.19, a completed request must also include any additional information the department prescribes by rule to facilitate verification of the purchaser’s eligibility for exemption or immunity or to facilitate verification of the purchaser’s service address. Upon receipt of a completed request, the dealer shall ascertain whether it collected the tax claimed from the purchaser and whether the request is timely.
(c) Within 30 days following receipt of a completed request, the dealer shall determine whether any portion of the tax was collected solely as the result of an error of the dealer or the purchaser or solely as the result of a combination of errors of the dealer and the purchaser. The dealer shall refund any such amount or credit the purchaser’s account for such amount within 45 days following such determination.
(d) With respect to all amounts timely claimed which the dealer collected from the purchaser and which the dealer has not determined to be subject to refund or credit pursuant to paragraph (c), the dealer shall, within 30 days following receipt of the purchaser’s completed request for refund or credit, provide a copy of the request to the department. If the reason for the purchaser’s request is described in subparagraph (a)1. or subparagraph (a)3., the dealer shall contemporaneously furnish to the department an identification of the charges included in the taxable measure and the tax rates applied to the charges, or a written identification of each local jurisdiction to which the purchaser was assigned and the amounts collected from the purchaser and reported for each such jurisdiction, as the case may be. If a purchaser’s request submitted to the department under this section sets forth another reason for claiming a refund or credit, the dealer shall furnish to the department information to facilitate the department’s evaluation of the request.
(e) Within 90 days following receipt of the purchaser’s request from the dealer, the department shall determine whether the tax was correctly applied and notify the dealer in writing of its determination. If the department determines that the tax was incorrectly applied, its notification to the dealer must inform the dealer how the tax should have been applied, including, in the case of an incorrect assignment of the purchaser to a local taxing jurisdiction, an identification of the correct local taxing jurisdiction and the applicable rates of tax levied by the local jurisdiction. The department’s notification must also inform the dealer of any portion of the amount claimed which was not due to the state or to any local taxing jurisdiction and approve the refund or credit of such amount to the purchaser. Within 45 days following receipt of notification from the department, the dealer shall issue a refund or credit the purchaser’s account for any such amount. The dealer’s obligation to issue a refund or credit the purchaser’s account is limited to amounts approved in accordance with this section.
(f) The dealer shall issue a written response advising the purchaser of the disposition of the purchaser’s request. The response must specify any portion of the tax claimed which is being refunded or credited to the purchaser’s account and the reason for denial of any portion of the request. The request may be denied if the request was untimely or incomplete, the dealer did not collect the tax claimed, the purchaser previously received a refund of or credit for the same tax, the tax collected was due, or the department failed to furnish the notification required by paragraph (e). With respect to any portion of the request which is granted, the response must be issued at the time of the refund or credit to the purchaser’s account. With respect to any portion of the request which is denied, the response must be issued within 45 days following the dealer’s receipt of the request if the request was not submitted to the department pursuant to paragraph (d), within 45 days following the dealer’s receipt of the department’s notification pursuant to paragraph (e) if the denial is based on the department’s notification, or within 135 days following submission of the request to the department if the dealer has not received the department’s notification.
(g) The dealer may deduct from any refund or credit under this section any amount owed by the purchaser to the dealer which is delinquent.