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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XIV
TAXATION AND FINANCE
Chapter 202
COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES TAX SIMPLIFICATION LAW
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F.S. 202.34
202.34 Records required to be kept; power to inspect; audit procedure.
(1)(a) Each dealer shall secure, maintain, and keep as long as required by s. 213.35 a complete record of communications services sold at retail by the dealer, together with invoices, records of gross receipts from such sales, and other pertinent records and papers required by the department for the reasonable administration of this chapter. All such records that are located or maintained in this state must be made available for inspection by the department at all reasonable hours at the dealer’s office or other place of business located in this state. Any dealer who maintains such books and records outside this state must make such books and records available for inspection by the department wherever the dealer’s general records are kept. Any dealer subject to the provisions of this chapter who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. If, however, any subsequent offense involves intentional destruction of such records with an intent to evade payment of or deprive the government of any tax revenues, such subsequent offense constitutes a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b) For the purpose of this subsection, if a dealer does not have adequate records of its sales of communications services, the department may, upon the basis of a test or sampling of the dealer’s available records or other information relating to the sales made by such dealer for a representative period, determine the proper basis for assessing tax. This subsection does not affect the duty of the dealer to collect, or the liability of any consumer to pay, any tax imposed or administered under this chapter.
(c) If the records of a dealer are adequate but voluminous, the department may reasonably sample such records and project the audit findings derived therefrom over the entire audit period to determine the proper basis for assessing tax. In order to conduct such a sample, the department must first make a good faith effort to reach an agreement with the dealer which provides for the means and methods to be used in the sampling process. If an agreement is not reached, the dealer is entitled to a review by the executive director or the executive director’s designee of the sampling method to be used by the auditor.
(2) For the purpose of enforcement of this chapter, each dealer shall allow the department to examine its books and records at all reasonable hours; and, if the dealer refuses, the department may petition the circuit court to order the dealer to permit such examination, subject to the right of removal of the cause to the judicial circuit wherein such person’s business is located or wherein such person’s books and records are kept.
(3) Each person who sells or purchases communications services shall permit the department to examine his or her books and records at all reasonable hours. The person shall also maintain books and records as long as required by s. 213.35 in order to disclose the sales and purchases of all services sold, to whom sold, and the amount sold, in the form and manner that the department requires, so that the department can determine the volume of services sold or purchased, as defined by this chapter, and the dates and amounts of such sales and purchases. The department may petition the circuit court to require any person who refuses to keep such records to permit such inspection, subject to the right of removal of the cause to the judicial circuit wherein such person’s business is located or wherein such person’s books and records are kept.
(4)(a) The department shall send written notification, at least 60 days prior to the date an auditor is scheduled to begin an audit, informing the person of the audit. The department is not required to give 60 days’ prior notification of a forthcoming audit whenever the person requests an emergency audit.
(b) The written notification must specify:
1. The approximate date on which the auditor is scheduled to begin the audit.
2. A reminder that all of the records, receipts, invoices, resale certificates, and related documentation of the person must be made available to the auditor.
3. Any other requests or suggestions that the department considers necessary.
(c) Only records, receipts, invoices, resale certificates, and related documentation that are available to the auditor when the audit begins are acceptable for the purposes of the audit. A resale certificate containing a date prior to the date the audit commences constitutes acceptable documentation of the specific transactions that occurred in the past.
(d) The provisions of this chapter concerning fraudulent or improper records, receipts, invoices, resale certificates, and related documentation apply with respect to any audit.
(e) The requirement in paragraph (a) of 60 days’ written notification does not apply in cases of distress or jeopardy as provided in s. 202.33 or s. 202.36.
(5) If a dealer retains records in both machine-readable and hardcopy formats, upon a request by the department, the dealer shall make the records available to the department in the machine-readable format in which such records are retained. Any dealer or other person who fails or refuses to provide such records within 60 days after the department’s request or any extension thereof shall, in addition to all other penalties provided by law, be subject to a specific penalty of $5,000 per audit.
History.ss. 26, 58, ch. 2000-260; s. 38, ch. 2001-140; s. 8, ch. 2003-254.