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The Florida Senate

2004 Florida Statutes

Section 202.27, Florida Statutes 2004

202.27  Return filing; rules for self-accrual.--

(1)  For the purpose of ascertaining the amount of tax payable under this chapter and chapter 203, every dealer has the duty to file a return and remit the taxes to the department, on or before the 20th day of the month, upon forms prepared and furnished by the department or in a format prescribed by it. The department shall, by rule, prescribe the information to be furnished by taxpayers on such returns.

(2)  The department may require:

(a)  A quarterly return and payment when the tax remitted by the dealer for the preceding four calendar quarters did not exceed $1,000.

(b)  A semiannual return and payment when the tax remitted by the dealer for the preceding four calendar quarters did not exceed $500.

(c)  An annual return and payment when the tax remitted by the dealer for the preceding four calendar quarters did not exceed $100.

(d)  A quarterly return and monthly payment when the tax remitted by the dealer for the preceding four calendar quarters exceeded $1,000 but did not exceed $12,000.

(3)  The department shall accept returns, except those required to be initiated through an electronic data interchange, as timely if postmarked on or before the 20th day of the month; if the 20th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal or state legal holiday, returns are timely if postmarked on the next succeeding workday. Each dealer shall file a return for each tax period even though no tax is due for such period.

(4)  Whenever returns are required to be made to the department, the full amount of the taxes required to be paid as shown by the return must be paid and accompany the return, and the failure to remit the full amount of taxes at the time of making the return shall cause the taxes to become delinquent. All taxes and all interest and penalties imposed or administered under this chapter must be remitted to the department at Tallahassee or at another office designated by the department, in the form required by the department.

(5)  The department may require all returns of taxes under this chapter to be accompanied by a written statement, by the person or by an officer of any firm or corporation required to pay such taxes, setting forth the facts that the department requires in order to ascertain the amount of taxes that are due and payable with the return. The filing of a return that is not accompanied by payment is prima facie evidence of the wrongful conversion of the money due. Any person or any duly authorized corporation officer or agent, or members of any firm or incorporated society or organization, who refuses to make a return and pay the taxes due, as required by the department and in the manner and in the form that the department requires, or to state in writing that the return is correct to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, as required by the department, is subject to a penalty of 6 percent per annum of the amount due and commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 The signing of a written return has the same legal effect as if made under oath without the necessity of appending an oath thereto.

(6)  In addition to the contact person identified on the return, each dealer of communications services obligated to collect and remit local communications services tax imposed under s. 202.19 may at any time, and shall within 10 days after a request, designate a managerial representative to whom the department shall direct any inquiry regarding the completeness or accuracy of the dealer's return when the response provided by the contact person identified on the return has been inadequate. When the representative designated under this subsection is contacted by the department, the dealer shall respond to the department within 30 days.

1(7)(a)  If the department determines it is probable that a return filed pursuant to this chapter contains a material error in the reporting of local communications service taxes by jurisdiction as required by s. 202.37(2), it may, subject to the provisions of this subsection, issue a notice as described herein to the dealer that filed the return. The notice shall be in writing and shall be issued as soon as possible following the date the department received the return. Prior to issuing the notice, the department shall attempt to resolve the issue in the manner provided in subsection (6), shall consult with the affected local jurisdictions, and shall consult other sources of information available to it that would have a bearing on whether the existence of a material error in the return is probable. Such inquiry by the department shall include, without limitation, whether local rate changes, changes in jurisdictional boundaries, or fluctuations in the taxes reported by other dealers are consistent with the reporting on the return that is the subject of the notice. The notice shall specify the schedule, specify line or lines of the return that are the subject of the notice, describe the reporting error, and describe the other sources of information consulted by the department as required in this paragraph and the results of such inquiry.

(b)  The dealer shall respond in writing to the notice within 90 days after receipt of the notice, except that an extension of this 90-day period must be granted if requested by the dealer for reasonable cause. The dealer's response shall state either that the return contained a material error conforming to the department's description and that the error has been corrected by filing a corrected return, or that the dealer has been unable to locate such an error. In the latter event, the dealer's response shall also state whether any of the following events have occurred which might reasonably account for the condition described in the notice as a probable reporting error:

1.  The dealer has changed from one of the methods specified in s. 202.22(1) of assigning customers to local jurisdictions to another method specified therein.

2.  There has been an acquisition or disposition of an entity providing communications services, an acquisition or disposition of such an entity's assets used to provide such services, or a change in the dealer's licensed service area.

3.  The dealer has implemented a new billing system.

4.  There has been an update to the dealer's database or corrections in assignments of service addresses pursuant to s. 202.22(4)(b).

5.  Substantial credits, refunds, or adjustments to customer accounts are reflected in the return identified in the notice.

(c)  If the dealer responds as required in paragraph (b), and provides information prescribed in subparagraphs (b)1.-5. which is incorrect and, after audit, the return is finally determined to contain the specific material error identified in the notice, the dealer shall be subject to a penalty not to exceed the lesser of 10 percent of any taxes reported for an incorrect jurisdiction as a result of the error or $10,000, which penalty may be compromised pursuant to s. 213.21 If the dealer fails to respond to the notice or request an extension within the time prescribed, the dealer shall be subject to a specific penalty of $5,000, except that the department shall waive the specific penalty if the dealer responds as required within 30 days after notification that the specific penalty has been imposed.

(d)  For purposes of this subsection, a "material error" is an error in the reporting of tax on a return for a specific local jurisdiction that exceeds the greater of $50,000 or 50 percent of the tax reported for such local jurisdiction. "Material error" also includes a return for which Schedule I or Schedule II is not included, regardless of the tax amount reported. "Material error" does not include, and the penalties set forth in this subsection do not apply, to any error resulting from the assignment of a service address to an incorrect local taxing jurisdiction for which the dealer is held harmless under s. 202.22(1).

This subsection does not require the dealer to perform a self-audit to ascertain whether the condition described in the notice is attributable to any of the foregoing events, nor does the issuance of the notice determine the dealer's substantial interests or constitute an audit for purposes of this chapter.

(8)  The department may provide by rule for self-accrual of the communications services tax when:

(a)  Authorized by law for holders of direct-pay permits; or

(b)  The taxable status of sales of communications services will be known only upon use.

History.--ss. 19, 58, ch. 2000-260; ss. 20, 38, ch. 2001-140; ss. 5, 6, ch. 2003-254.

1Note.--Repealed June 30, 2004, by s. 6, ch. 2003-254.