Florida Senate - 2018                       CS for CS for SB 826
       
       
        
       By the Committees on Rules; and Governmental Oversight and
       Accountability; and Senator Hukill
       
       
       
       
       595-03286-18                                           2018826c2
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the taxpayers’ rights advocate;
    3         amending s. 20.21, F.S.; providing for the appointment
    4         of the taxpayers’ rights advocate within the
    5         Department of Revenue by the Chief Inspector General
    6         rather than by the department’s executive director;
    7         revising the supervisory authority over the taxpayers’
    8         rights advocate; providing that the taxpayers’ rights
    9         advocate may be removed from office only by the Chief
   10         Inspector General; requiring the taxpayers’ rights
   11         advocate to furnish an annual report to the Governor,
   12         the Legislature, and the Chief Inspector General by a
   13         specified date; providing requirements for the report;
   14         amending s. 213.018, F.S.; conforming a provision to
   15         changes made by the act; amending s. 213.053, F.S.;
   16         requiring that information received by the department
   17         in connection with the administration of taxes be made
   18         available to the taxpayers’ rights advocate or his or
   19         her authorized agent in the performance of their
   20         official duties; providing that the person who serves
   21         as the taxpayers’ rights advocate as of a certain date
   22         shall continue to serve in such capacity until he or
   23         she voluntarily leaves the position or is removed by
   24         the Chief Inspector General; providing an effective
   25         date.
   26          
   27  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   28  
   29         Section 1. Subsection (3) of section 20.21, Florida
   30  Statutes, is amended to read:
   31         20.21 Department of Revenue.—There is created a Department
   32  of Revenue.
   33         (3) The position of taxpayers’ rights advocate is created
   34  within the Department of Revenue. The taxpayers’ rights advocate
   35  shall be appointed by the Chief Inspector General but is under
   36  the general supervision of the executive director for
   37  administrative purposes. The taxpayers’ rights advocate must
   38  report to the Chief Inspector General and may be removed from
   39  office only by the Chief Inspector General shall be appointed by
   40  and report to the executive director of the department. The
   41  responsibilities of the taxpayers’ rights advocate include, but
   42  are not limited to, the following:
   43         (a) Facilitating the resolution of taxpayer complaints and
   44  problems which have not been resolved through normal
   45  administrative channels within the department, including any
   46  taxpayer complaints regarding unsatisfactory treatment of
   47  taxpayers by employees of the department.
   48         (b) Issuing a stay action on behalf of a taxpayer who has
   49  suffered or is about to suffer irreparable loss as a result of
   50  action by the department.
   51         (c) On or before January 1 of each year, the taxpayers’
   52  rights advocate shall furnish to the Governor, the President of
   53  the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the
   54  Chief Inspector General a report that must include the
   55  following:
   56         1. The objectives of the taxpayers’ rights advocate for the
   57  upcoming fiscal year.
   58         2. The number of complaints filed in the previous fiscal
   59  year.
   60         3. A summary of resolutions or outstanding issues from the
   61  previous fiscal year report.
   62         4. A summary of the most common problems encountered by
   63  taxpayers, including a description of the nature of the
   64  problems, and the number of complaints for each such problem.
   65         5. The initiatives the taxpayers’ rights advocate has taken
   66  or is planning to take to improve taxpayer services and the
   67  department’s responsiveness.
   68         6. Recommendations for administrative or legislative action
   69  as appropriate to resolve problems encountered by taxpayers.
   70         7. Other information as the taxpayers’ rights advocate may
   71  deem advisable.
   72  
   73  The report must contain a complete and substantive analysis in
   74  addition to statistical information.
   75         Section 2. Subsection (1) of section 213.018, Florida
   76  Statutes, is amended to read:
   77         213.018 Taxpayer problem resolution program; taxpayer
   78  assistance orders.—A taxpayer problem resolution program shall
   79  be available to taxpayers to facilitate the prompt review and
   80  resolution of taxpayer complaints and problems which have not
   81  been addressed or remedied through normal administrative
   82  proceedings or operational procedures and to assure that
   83  taxpayer rights are safeguarded and protected during tax
   84  determination and collection processes.
   85         (1) The Chief Inspector General shall appoint a taxpayers’
   86  rights advocate, and the executive director of the Department of
   87  Revenue shall designate a taxpayers’ rights advocate and
   88  adequate staff to administer the taxpayer problem resolution
   89  program.
   90         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (7) of section
   91  213.053, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   92         213.053 Confidentiality and information sharing.—
   93         (7)(a) Any information received by the Department of
   94  Revenue in connection with the administration of taxes,
   95  including, but not limited to, information contained in returns,
   96  reports, accounts, or declarations filed by persons subject to
   97  tax, shall be made available to the following in performance of
   98  their official duties:
   99         1. The Auditor General or his or her authorized agent;
  100         2. The director of the Office of Program Policy Analysis
  101  and Government Accountability or his or her authorized agent;
  102         3. The Chief Financial Officer or his or her authorized
  103  agent;
  104         4. The Director of the Office of Insurance Regulation of
  105  the Financial Services Commission or his or her authorized
  106  agent;
  107         5. A property appraiser or tax collector or their
  108  authorized agents pursuant to s. 195.084(1);
  109         6. Designated employees of the Department of Education
  110  solely for determination of each school district’s price level
  111  index pursuant to s. 1011.62(2); and
  112         7. The executive director of the Department of Economic
  113  Opportunity or his or her authorized agent; and
  114         8. The taxpayers’ rights advocate or his or her authorized
  115  agent pursuant to s. 20.21(3).
  116         Section 4. The person who serves as the taxpayers’ rights
  117  advocate as of the effective date of this act shall continue to
  118  serve in that capacity until such person voluntarily leaves the
  119  position or is removed by the Chief Inspector General.
  120         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.