2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 48 - REVENUE AND TAXATION
CHAPTER 8 - SALES AND USE TAXES
ARTICLE 1 - STATE SALES AND USE TAX
PART 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 48-8-13 - Taxing jurisdiction for mobile telecommunications services

O.C.G.A. 48-8-13 (2010)
48-8-13. Taxing jurisdiction for mobile telecommunications services


(a) For purposes of this Code section, the terms and corresponding definitions set forth in 4 U.S.C. Section 124 shall apply. In addition, as used in this Code section, the term:

(1) "Enhanced ZIP Code" means a United States postal ZIP Code of 9 or more digits.

(2) "Fee" shall include, without limitation, any emergency 9-1-1 charge imposed pursuant to Part 4 of Article 2 of Chapter 5 of Title 46.

(3) "FIPS" means the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 55-3 or any future enhancement.

(4) "Home service provider" means the facilities based carrier or reseller with which the customer contracts for the provision of mobile telecommunications services.

(5) "Mobile telecommunications service" means commercial mobile radio service, as such term is defined in 47 C.F.R. Section 20.3 as in effect on June 1, 1999, or as subsequently amended.

(6) "Place of primary use" means the street address representative of where the customer's use of the mobile telecommunications service primarily occurs, which must be the residential street address or the primary business street address of the customer. At such time as the state certifies a master street address data base covering all or a portion of the state, addresses within the area so covered shall be identified by FIPS code. If the state has not designated such a data base, a home service provider desiring to be held harmless from any tax, charge, or fee liability under the provisions of 4 U.S.C. Section 120 shall employ an enhanced ZIP Code to assign each street address to a specific taxing jurisdiction for each level of taxing jurisdiction and exercise due diligence at each level of taxing jurisdiction to ensure that each such street address is assigned to the correct taxing jurisdiction. If an enhanced ZIP Code overlaps boundaries of taxing jurisdictions of the same level, the home service provider shall designate one specific jurisdiction within such enhanced ZIP Code for use in taxing the activity for such enhanced ZIP Code for each level of taxing jurisdiction.

(7) "Taxing jurisdiction" means the state or any municipality or county.

(b) Subject to the provisions of 4 U.S.C. Section 116(c), the tax levied by this chapter shall apply only to those charges for mobile telecommunications services subject to tax that are deemed to be provided to a customer by a home service provider pursuant to 4 U.S.C. Section 117(a) if the customer's place of primary use is located within this state, regardless of where the mobile telecommunications services originate, terminate, or pass through.

(c) If a customer believes that an amount of tax, charge, or fee or an assignment of place of primary use or taxing jurisdiction included on a bill under the provisions of this Code section is erroneous, the customer shall notify the home service provider in writing to the address provided as required by subsection (g) of this Code section. The customer shall include in this written notification the street address for the customer's place of primary use, the account name and number for which the customer seeks a correction, a description of the error asserted by the customer, and any other information that the home service provider reasonably requires to process the request. Within 60 days of receiving a notice under this subsection, the home service provider shall review its records to determine the customer's taxing jurisdiction. If this review shows that the amount of tax, charge, or fee or assignment of place of primary use or taxing jurisdiction is in error, the home service provider shall correct the error and refund or credit the amount of tax, charge, or fee erroneously collected from the customer for a period of up to two years. If this review shows that the amount of tax, charge, or fee or assignment of place of primary use or taxing jurisdiction is correct, the home service provider shall provide a written explanation to the customer. The procedures in this subsection shall be the first course of remedy available to customers seeking correction of assignment of place of primary use or taxing jurisdiction or a refund of or other compensation for taxes, charges, or fees erroneously collected by the home service provider, and no cause of action based upon a dispute arising from such taxes, charges, or fees shall accrue until a customer has exhausted the remedies set forth in this subsection.

(d) (1) If a mobile telecommunications service is not subject to the tax levied by this chapter, and if the amount charged for such mobile telecommunications service is aggregated with and not separately stated from the amount paid or charged for any service that is subject to such tax, then the nontaxable mobile telecommunications service shall be treated as being subject to such tax unless the home service provider can reasonably identify the amount paid or charged for the mobile telecommunications service not subject to such tax from its books and records kept in the regular course of business.

(2) If a mobile telecommunications service is not subject to the tax levied by this chapter, a customer may not rely upon the nontaxability of such mobile telecommunications service unless the customer's home service provider separately states the amount charged for such nontaxable mobile telecommunications service or the home service provider elects, after receiving a written request from the customer in the form required by the provider, to provide verifiable data based upon the home service provider's books and records that are kept in the regular course of business that reasonably identify the amount charged for such nontaxable mobile telecommunications service.
(e)(1) A mobile telecommunications services provider who is obligated to remit or pay the tax levied by this chapter shall be held harmless from any liability, including tax, interest, and penalties, which would otherwise be due solely as a result of an assignment of a place of primary use to an incorrect jurisdiction, if the mobile telecommunications services provider satisfies the requirements of 4 U.S.C. Section 120(a).
(2)(A) The department may elect to provide an electronic data base that satisfies the requirements of 4 U.S.C. Section 119. If the department provides such data base, a home service provider using the data contained in such data base shall be held harmless from any liability, including tax, interest, and penalties, which would otherwise be due solely as a result of an assignment of a place of primary use to an incorrect local jurisdiction.

(B) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall apply to a home service provider who is in compliance with the terms of such paragraph until the later of:

(i) Eighteen months after the approval described in 4 U.S.C. Section 119(a); or

(ii) Six months after the department provides an electronic data base that satisfies the requirements of 4 U.S.C. Section 119.

(3) A home service provider shall be responsible for obtaining and maintaining the customer's place of primary use. Subject to paragraph (5) of this subsection, if the home service provider's reliance on information provided by its customer is in good faith:

(A) The home service provider shall be entitled to rely on the applicable residential or business street address supplied by such customer; and

(B) The home service provider shall be held harmless from liability for any additional tax, including any related interest or penalties, which is based on a different determination of such customer's place of primary use.

(4) Except as provided in paragraph (5) of this subsection, a home service provider shall be allowed to treat the address used for purposes of the tax levied by this chapter for any customer under a service contract in effect on August 1, 2002, as that customer's place of primary use for the remaining term of such service contract or agreement, excluding any extension or renewal of such service contract or agreement.
(5)(A) If the department determines that the address used by a home service provider as a customer's place of primary use does not meet the definition of "place of primary use," the department shall notify such customer of such determination and provide such customer an opportunity to demonstrate that such address satisfies such definition.

(B) If the customer fails to demonstrate that the address meets the definition of such customer's place of primary use, the department shall provide the home service provider with the proper address to be used as such customer's place of primary use, and the home service provider shall begin using the address provided by the department as such customer's place of primary use in the next full billing period.
(6)(A) If the department determines that the assignment of a taxing jurisdiction by a home service provider does not reflect the correct taxing jurisdiction, the department shall notify the home service provider of such determination and provide such home service provider an opportunity to demonstrate that the assignment represents the correct taxing jurisdiction.

(B) If the home service provider fails to demonstrate that the assignment reflects the correct taxing jurisdiction, the department shall provide the home service provider with the correct taxing jurisdiction to be used, and the home service provider shall begin using the taxing jurisdiction provided by the department in the next full billing period.

(f) A home service provider shall identify each customer's place of primary use and shall provide at least quarterly a complete listing of the total number of customers to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. The home service provider shall indicate in such report whether it is employing an enhanced ZIP Code to assign each street address to a specific taxing jurisdiction so as to qualify for the safe harbor provisions of 4 U.S.C. Section 120. Further, each home service provider shall, upon request, provide information showing the total number of billings and the amount of fees collected to any taxing jurisdiction as to the customers whose place of primary use is within the jurisdiction of such taxing jurisdiction; provided, however, that in no event shall customer identification be required to be released. Such information shall initially be made available not later than July 1, 2006.

(g) A home service provider shall clearly state on each customer bill or invoice the following information:

(1) The taxing jurisdiction to which each tax and fee charged to the customer is paid and the amount paid to each taxing jurisdiction; provided, however, that such information shall initially be made available not later than July 1, 2006; and

(2) An address, telephone number, or electronic method for the customer to send the notification required by subsection (c) of this Code section or otherwise.

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