A. The Tax Administrator shall have the power and duty, and is hereby directed, to enforce each and all of the provisions of this chapter.
B. The Tax Administrator may adopt administrative rules and regulations consistent with provisions of this chapter for the purpose of interpreting, clarifying, carrying out and enforcing the payment, collection and remittance of the taxes herein imposed. The administrative ruling shall not impose a new tax, revise an existing tax methodology as stated in this chapter, or increase an existing tax, except as allowed by California Government Code Section 53750(h)(2). A copy of such administrative rules and regulations shall be on file in the Tax Administrator’s office. To the extent that the Tax Administrator determines that the tax imposed under this chapter shall not be collected in full for any period of time from any particular service supplier or service user, that determination shall be considered an exercise of the Tax Administrator’s discretion to settle disputes and shall not constitute a change in taxing methodology for purposes of Government Code Section 53750 or otherwise. The Tax Administrator is not authorized to amend the City’s methodology for purposes of Government Code Section 53750 and the City does not waive or abrogate its ability to impose the utility users tax in full as a result of promulgating administrative rulings or entering into agreements.
C. Upon a proper showing of good cause, the Tax Administrator may make administrative agreements, with appropriate conditions, to vary from the strict requirements of this chapter and thereby (1) conform to the billing procedures of a particular service supplier (or service user subject to SMC 3.10.080) so long as said agreements result in the collection of the tax in conformance with the general purpose and scope of this chapter; or (2) to avoid a hardship where the administrative costs of collection and remittance greatly outweigh the tax benefit. A copy of each such agreement shall be on file in the Tax Administrator’s office, and is voidable by the Tax Administrator or the City at any time.
D. The Tax Administrator may conduct an audit, to ensure proper compliance with the requirements of this chapter, of any person required to collect and/or remit a tax pursuant to this chapter. The Tax Administrator shall notify said person of the initiation of an audit in writing. In the absence of fraud or other intentional misconduct, the audit period or review shall not exceed a period of three years next preceding the date of receipt of the written notice by said person from the Tax Administrator. Upon completion of the audit, the Tax Administrator may make a deficiency determination pursuant to SMC 3.10.150 for all taxes (and applicable penalties and interest) owed and not paid, as evidenced by information provided by such person to the Tax Administrator. If said person is unable or unwilling to provide sufficient records to enable the Tax Administrator to verify compliance with this chapter, the Tax Administrator is authorized to make a reasonable estimate of the deficiency. Said reasonable estimate shall be entitled to be a rebuttable presumption of correctness.
E. Upon receipt of a written request of a taxpayer, and for good cause, the Tax Administrator may extend the time for filing any statement required pursuant to this chapter for a period of not to exceed 45 days; provided, that the time for filing the required statement has not already passed when the request is received. No penalty for delinquent payment shall accrue by reason of such extension. Interest shall accrue during said extension at the rate of 0.75 percent per month, prorated for any portion thereof.
F. The Tax Administrator shall determine the eligibility of any person who asserts a right to exemption from, or a refund of, the tax imposed by this chapter.
G. The Tax Administrator, with the written approval of the City Attorney, may compromise a claim pursuant to this chapter where the portion of the claim proposed to be released is equal to or less than $4,999; and, with the approval of the City Attorney and the City Council, may compromise such a claim where the portion proposed to be released is greater than $4,999.
H. Notwithstanding any provision in this chapter to the contrary, the Tax Administrator may waive any penalty or interest imposed upon a person required to collect and/or remit for failure to collect the tax imposed by this chapter if the noncollection occurred in good faith. In determining whether the noncollection was in good faith, the Tax Administrator shall take into consideration the uniqueness of the product or service, industry practice or other precedence, or whether the person offers to voluntarily disclose its tax liability. The Tax Administrator may also participate with other utility users tax public agencies in conducting coordinated compliance reviews with the goal of achieving administrative efficiency and uniform tax application determinations, where possible. To encourage voluntary full disclosure and ongoing cooperation on tax collection and remittance, the Tax Administrator, and its agents, may enter into agreements with the tax-collecting service providers and grant prospective-only effect on any changes regarding the taxation of services or charges that were previously deemed by the service provider, in good faith and without gross negligence, to be nontaxable. In determining whether the noncollection was in good faith and without gross negligence, the Tax Administrator shall take into consideration the uniqueness of the product or service, industry practice or other precedence, and whether the disclosure was voluntarily made by the service provider or its agent. (Ord. 1072 § 1, 2014)