This is Sec. 6.15 of the San Francisco Business Code, titled “1. REFUNDS..” It is part of Article 6, titled “COMMON ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS.” It contains 3 laws.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (c) below, 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 with the Controller, within the later of 1 year of payment of such amount or when the return accompanying such payment was due, a verified claim in writing therefor, stating under penalty of perjury: (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, and (3) the grounds upon which the claim is founded, with specificity sufficient to enable the Tax Collector and other responsible City officials to understand and evaluate the claim. The Controller shall enter the claim in the claim register, and shall forthwith forward it to the City Attorney. If the City Attorney determines the claim is insufficient, the City Attorney shall give the claimant written notice of how the claim is insufficient, stating with particularity the defects or omissions therein. The City Attorney shall send the claimant that notice within 20 days after the claimant presents the claim. The City Attorney may reject any and all claims the Controller forwards to the City Attorney, and shall notify the claimant of such rejection. Allowance or compromise and settlement of claims under this Section 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. For purposes of this Section, a claim shall be deemed to accrue on the later of the date the return was due or the tax was paid.
(b) The claim shall be on a form furnished by the Controller. A claim may be returned to the person if it was not presented using the form. A refund claim may be made only by the taxpayer or other person determined to be liable for the tax or said person's guardian or conservator. No other agent, including the taxpayer's attorney, may sign a refund claim. Class claims for refunds shall not be permitted. 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 has paid the tax to the Tax Collector pursuant to a deficiency determination or a jeopardy determination in which case the operator or other person who paid the tax, and not the individual customer, may seek a refund. If the claim is approved as set forth in subsection (a) above, the excess amount collected or paid may be refunded or may be credited on any amount due and payable, from the person from whom it was collected or by whom paid and the balance may be refunded to such person, his administrator or executors.
(c) The City Attorney, in his or her discretion and upon good cause shown, prior to the expiration of the 1-year limitations period, may waive the requirement set forth in subdivision (a) above that a taxpayer file a written verified 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.
(d) The City Attorney shall allow, reject or otherwise act upon a claim for refund in a manner specified in Government Code Section 912.6 within 45 days after it is presented to the Controller. If the claim is amended, the City Attorney shall act on the amended claim within 45 days after the amended claim is presented. The claimant may agree in writing to extend the period within which the City Attorney must act on the claim for refund prior to expiration of the original 45-day period. The claimant may deem the claim for refund denied and seek judicial relief if the City Attorney does not act upon the claim within the 45-day period, or such extended period to which the claimant has agreed.
(e) The Tax Collector may authorize the Controller to refund tax payments, without a refund claim having been filed, without the need for a refund claim, and without review by the City Attorney, if the Tax Collector determines:
(1) the tax was paid more than once; or
(2) the amount paid exceeds the amount due as a result of an arithmetic or clerical error. The Tax Collector may authorize such a refund no later than 1 year after payment of the tax.
(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)