(1) A purchaser seeking a refund of or credit for public service tax shall submit a written request therefor to the seller within the time prescribed in s. 166.234(6) and in accordance with this section. No such request shall be granted unless the amount claimed was collected from the purchaser and was not due to any municipality.
(a) The request shall be signed by the purchaser and shall be deemed completed for purposes of this section and the limitation period if it states the purchaser’s name, mailing address, account number, the tax amounts claimed, the specific months during which those amounts were collected, and the reason for the purchaser’s claim that such amounts were not due to any municipality. Upon receipt of a completed request, the seller shall ascertain whether it collected the tax claimed from the purchaser and whether the request is timely.
(b) Within 30 days following receipt of a completed request, the seller shall determine whether lists available pursuant to s. 166.233(3) support the purchaser’s claim and whether all or any portion of the tax timely claimed was not due to any municipality and was collected solely as a result of the seller’s error. The seller shall refund or credit the purchaser’s account for any such amount within 45 days following its determination thereof.
(c) With respect to all amounts timely claimed which the seller collected from the purchaser and which the seller has not determined to be subject to refund or credit pursuant to paragraph (b), the seller shall, within 30 days following receipt of the completed request, provide a copy thereof to each municipality to which the taxes claimed were remitted and to each municipality which has asserted in writing the right to impose the tax in a geographic area that includes the purchaser’s billing address or service address, as the case may be. Within 30 days following receipt of such information, each such municipality shall notify the seller in writing if it approves the issuance of a refund or credit for all or a specified portion of the purchaser’s claim. A municipality shall approve the refund or credit except to the extent the tax was due to such municipality. Within 45 days following receipt of notifications establishing that all of the municipalities receiving the request have approved a refund or credit, the seller shall issue a refund or credit the purchaser’s account for the amount approved by all such municipalities. The seller’s obligation to issue a refund or credit the purchaser’s account shall be limited to amounts approved in accordance with this section. The seller shall be entitled to a corresponding refund or credit from any municipality to which the tax was remitted.
(d) The seller shall issue a written response advising the purchaser of the disposition of his or her request. The response shall specify any portion of the tax claimed that is being refunded or credited to the purchaser’s account, and the reason for denial of any portion of the request. Reasons for denial include untimely submission of the request, that the seller did not collect the tax claimed, the absence of municipal approval to issue a refund or credit, that the purchaser previously received a refund of or credit for the same tax, and failure to provide information required to complete the request. A copy of each notification received from a municipality pursuant to paragraph (c) shall accompany the response. If the seller submitted the request to a municipality but received no such notification, the response shall so state. With respect to any portion of the request that is granted, the response shall be issued at the time of the refund or credit to the purchaser’s account. With respect to any portion of the request which is denied, the response shall be issued within 90 days following receipt of a purchaser’s completed request.
(e) The seller may deduct from any refund or credit under this section any amount owed by the purchaser to the seller which is delinquent.
(2) This section provides the sole and exclusive procedure and remedy for a purchaser who claims that a seller has collected municipal public service taxes that were not due. No action arising as a result of the claimed collection of municipal public service taxes that were not due may be commenced or maintained by or on behalf of a purchaser against a seller or municipality unless the purchaser pleads and proves that he or she has exhausted the procedures in subsection (1) and that the defendant has failed to comply with said subsection; however, no determination of a seller under paragraph (1)(b) shall be deemed a failure to comply with subsection (1) if the seller has complied with paragraphs (1)(c) and (d). In any such action it shall be a complete defense that the seller or municipality has refunded the taxes claimed or credited the purchaser’s account therewith; further, in such an action against a seller it shall be a complete defense that the seller collected the tax in reliance upon written information provided by a municipality pursuant to s. 166.233(3) or supplementing such information. Such action shall be commenced no later than 180 days following the purchaser’s submission of a completed request, or shall be barred. The relief available to a purchaser as a result of collection of municipal public service taxes that were not due shall be limited to a refund of or credit for such taxes.