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(a) Claims for Refund; Limitations. Except as otherwise provided in subsections (f) and (g) of this Section 6.15-1, the Controller shall refund or cause to be refunded the amount of any tax, interest, or penalty that has been overpaid or paid more than once, or has been erroneously or illegally collected or received by the City, provided the person that paid such amount files a claim in writing with the Controller within the later of one year of: (1) payment of such amount; (2) the date the return accompanying such payment was due; or (3) the date on which such amount requested on a return, amended return, or request for refund timely filed under subsection (g) of this Section 6.15-1 was denied under that subsection (g).
(b) Claims for Refund; Contents. Any claim filed under subsections (a)-(f) of this Section 6.15-1 must state: (1) the specific amount claimed to have been overpaid or paid more than once, or erroneously or illegally collected or received by the City; (2) the tax periods at issue; (3) the grounds upon which the claim is founded, with specificity sufficient to enable the responsible City officials to understand and evaluate the claim; and (4) the date on which the amount requested on a return, amended return, or request for refund timely filed under subsection (g) of this Section 6.15-1 was denied under that subsection (g), if the person filing the claim filed such a return, amended return, or request for refund.
(c) Claims for Refund; Third-Party Taxes. The customer who pays a third-party tax to an Operator is the proper party to seek the refund of a disputed third-party tax. No Operator or other person responsible for collecting or remitting a disputed third-party tax may obtain a tax refund unless that Operator or other person proves that the tax has not been passed on to its customers or any other person.
(d) Claims for Refund; Applicable Law. Claims for refund shall be made according to California Government Code, Title l, Division 3.6, Part 3. For purposes of subsections (a)-(f) of this Section 6.15-1, a claim shall be deemed to accrue on the later of: (1) the date the return was due; (2) the date the tax was paid; or (3) the date the refund requested on a return, amended return, or request for refund timely filed pursuant to subsection (g) of this Section 6.15-1 was denied under that subsection (g). The Controller shall furnish a form to be used for claims.
(e) Claims for Refund; Actions by the City. The Controller shall enter the claim in the claim register, and shall forthwith forward it to the City Attorney. The City Attorney is designated to take such actions on claims as authorized by California Government Code, Title 1, Division 3.6, Part 3, Chapter 2, except that the City Attorney's authority with regard to rejecting or allowing claims shall be as provided in this Section 6.15-1. The City Attorney may reject the claim, and shall notify the claimant of such rejection. Allowance or compromise and settlement of claims under this Section 6.15-1 in excess of $25,000 shall require the written approval of the City Attorney and approval of the Board of Supervisors by resolution. The City Attorney may allow or compromise and settle such claims if the amount is $25,000 or less. No claim may be paid until the Controller certifies that monies are available from the proper funds or appropriations to pay the claim as allowed or as compromised and settled. If the City approves the claim, the City may refund the excess amount collected or paid, or may credit such amount toward any amount due and payable to the City from the person from whom it was collected or by whom it was paid, and the balance may be refunded to such person, or the person's administrator or executor.
(f) Claims for Refund; Waiver of Written Filing Requirement. The City Attorney, in his or her discretion and upon good cause shown, prior to the expiration of the one-year limitations period, may waive the requirement set forth in subsection (a) of this Section 6.15-1 that a taxpayer file a written claim for a refund in any case in which the Tax Collector and City Attorney determine on the basis of other evidence that:
(1) an amount of tax, interest, or penalty has been overpaid or paid more than once, or has been erroneously or illegally collected or received by the City; and
(2) all other conditions precedent to the payment of a refund to the taxpayer have been satisfied.
(g) Requests for Refund; Refunds Permissible Without a Claim. The Tax Collector may authorize the Controller to refund tax, interest, or penalty payments, without a refund claim having been filed and without review by the City Attorney, if the Tax Collector determines that the amount paid exceeds the tax, penalties, and interest due. The person that made the overpayment may request such a refund from the Tax Collector on a return, amended return, or request for refund form that is issued by the Tax Collector and that is filed with the Tax Collector within the later of one year of the payment of such amount or the date the return accompanying such payment was due. The Tax Collector may also authorize the Controller to refund the overpaid tax, interest, or penalty payments on its own initiative within this one-year period. A refund requested on a return, amended return, or request for refund form under this subsection (g) shall automatically be deemed denied for purposes of subsections (a), (b), and (d) of this Section 6.15-1 if the Tax Collector does not grant or deny the refund request within one year of the date it was filed. Any action by the Tax Collector after a refund request under this subsection (g) has been deemed denied shall not constitute a denial and shall have no effect on the statute of limitations for filing a claim for refund under subsections (a)-(f) of this Section 6.15-1. In lieu of requesting a refund on a return, amended return, or request for refund form, a taxpayer may elect to apply an overpayment of the business registration fee in Article 12, the payroll expense tax in Article 12-A, the gross receipts tax in Article 12-A-1 (including the tax on administrative office business activities under Section 953.8 of Article 12-A-1), the sugary drinks distributor tax in Article 8, the Early Care and Education Commercial Rents Tax in Article 21, the Homelessness Gross Receipts Tax in Article 28 (including the homelessness administrative office tax under Section 2804(d) of Article 28), or the Cannabis Business Tax in Article 30 as a credit against the taxpayer’s immediately succeeding payment or payments due of any of these several tax types. Any election to apply an overpayment to the taxpayer’s future liability shall be binding and may not later be changed by the taxpayer.
(Added by Ord. 18-98, App. 1/16/98; amended by Ord. 92-99, File No. 990302, App. 4/30/99; Ord. 57-00, File No. 000183, App. 4/7/2000; Ord. 26-04, File No. 031990, App. 2/19/2004; Ord. 291-10, File No. 101099, App. 11/18/2010; Ord. 5-13 , File No. 121064, App. 1/24/2013, Eff. 2/23/2013; Ord. 154-15 , File No. 150730, App. 8/6/2015, Eff. 9/5/2015; Ord. 26-17, File No. 161264, App. 2/10/2017, Eff. 3/12/2017; Ord. 12-18, File No. 171155, App. 2/1/2018, Eff. 3/4/2018; Ord. 235-18, File No. 180753, App. 10/12/2018, Eff. 11/12/2018, Oper. 1/1/2019; Ord. 69-19, File No. 181110, App. 4/19/2019, Eff. 5/20/2019, Retro. 1/1/2019; Ord. 207-20, File No. 200759, App. 10/9/2020, Eff. 11/9/2020)