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The Florida Senate

2004 Florida Statutes

Special rules for administration of local communications services tax.
Section 202.37, Florida Statutes 2004

202.37  Special rules for administration of local communications services tax.--

(1)(a)  Except as otherwise provided in this section, all statutory provisions and administrative rules applicable to the communications services tax imposed by s. 202.12 apply to any local communications services tax imposed under s. 202.19, and the department shall administer, collect, and enforce all taxes imposed under s. 202.19, including interest and penalties attributable thereto, in accordance with the same procedures used in the administration, collection, and enforcement of the communications services tax imposed by s. 202.12 Audits performed by the department shall include a determination of the dealer's compliance with the jurisdictional situsing of its customers' service addresses and a determination of whether the rate collected for the local tax pursuant to ss. 202.19 and 202.20 is correct. The person or entity designated by a local government pursuant to s. 213.053(7)(v) may provide evidence to the department demonstrating a specific person's failure to fully or correctly report taxable communications services sales within the jurisdiction. The department may request additional information from the designee to assist in any review. The department shall inform the designee of what action, if any, the department intends to take regarding the person.

(b)  The department may contract with one or more private entities to assist it in fulfilling its obligation of administering the local communications services taxes imposed under this chapter, including, but not limited to, the compilation, maintenance, and publication of data pursuant to ss. 202.21 and 202.22

(c)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, if a dealer of communications services provides communications services solely within a single county, that county or any municipality located therein may perform an audit of such dealer with respect to communications services provided by such dealer within such county, including both the state and local components of the communications services tax imposed and any other tax administered pursuant to this chapter.

1.  Prior to the exercise of such authority, and for purposes of determining whether a dealer operates solely within one county, a local government may presume such localized operation if the dealer reports sales in a single county. Upon notice by the local government to the department of an intent to audit a dealer, the department shall notify the local government within 60 days if the department has issued a notice of intent to audit the dealer, or it shall notify the dealer of the local government's request to audit.

2.  The dealer may, within 30 days, rebut the single-county-operation presumption by providing evidence to the department that it provides communication services in more than one county in the state or that it is part of an affiliated group members of which provide communications services in more than one county in the state. An affiliated group is defined as one or more chains of includable corporations or partnerships connected through ownership with a common parent corporation or other partnership which is an includable corporation or partnership when the common parent corporation or partnership has ownership in at least one other includable corporation or partnership which generally satisfies the requirements of Internal Revenue Code s. 267 or Internal Revenue Code s. 707. If a dealer or a member of an affiliated group provides communications services in more than one county in the state, the department will notify the local government that no audit may be performed.

3.  If, during the course of an audit conducted pursuant to this paragraph, a local government determines that a dealer provided communications services in more than one county during the period under audit, the local government shall terminate the audit and notify the department of its findings.

4.  Local governments conducting audits shall be bound by department rules and technical assistance advisements issued during the course of an audit conducted pursuant to this paragraph. Local governments conducting communications services tax audits pursuant to this subparagraph, or taxpayers being audited pursuant to this subparagraph, may request and the department may issue technical assistance advisements pursuant to s. 213.22 regarding a pending audit issue. When the department is requested to issue a technical assistance advisement hereunder, it shall notify the affected local government or taxpayer of the request.

5.  Any audit performed hereunder shall obligate the local government to extend situsing work performed during such audit to include all addresses within the county. Such audit results shall be performed on behalf of and computed for each local government and unincorporated county area inside the subject county, and they shall be bound thereby.

6.  The review, protest, and collection of amounts due as the results of an audit performed hereunder shall be the responsibility of the local jurisdiction and shall be governed by s. 166.234 to the extent not inconsistent with this chapter.

7.  No fee or any portion of a fee for audits conducted on behalf of a municipality or county pursuant to this paragraph shall be based upon the amount assessed or collected as a result of the audit, and no determination based upon an audit conducted in violation of this prohibition shall be valid.

8.  All audits performed pursuant to this paragraph shall be in accordance with standards promulgated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Institute of Internal Auditors, or the Comptroller General of the United States insofar as those standards are not inconsistent with rules of the Department of Revenue.

9.  Results of audits performed pursuant to this paragraph shall be valid for all jurisdictions within the subject county. The assessment, review, and collection of any amounts ultimately determined to be due as the result of such an audit will be the responsibility of the auditing jurisdiction, and any such collections from the dealer shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue along with appropriate instructions for distribution of such amounts. No entity subject to audit hereunder can be audited by any local jurisdiction for compliance with this chapter more frequently than once every 3 years.

10.  The department may adopt rules for the notification and determination processes established in this paragraph as well as for the information to be provided by a local government conducting an audit.

(2)  Each dealer of communications services obligated to collect and remit one or more local communications services taxes imposed under s. 202.19 shall separately report and identify each such tax to the department, by jurisdiction, on a form prescribed by the department, and shall pay such taxes to the department. However, taxes imposed under s. 202.19(5) shall be added to and included in the amounts reported to the department as taxes imposed under s. 202.19(1). A dealer of communications services may include in a single payment to the department:

(a)  The total amount of all local communications services taxes imposed pursuant to s. 202.19; and

(b)  The amount of communications services tax imposed by ss. 202.12 and 203.01

History.--ss. 29, 58, ch. 2000-260; ss. 22, 38, ch. 2001-140; s. 32, ch. 2002-1.