Code of the District of Columbia

§ 47–3922. Special rules for mobile telecommunications services.

(a) Mobile telecommunications service provided to a customer and billed by or for the customer’s home service provider shall be deemed to be provided by the home service provider at the customer’s place of primary use. Subject to the exceptions in 4 U.S.C. §§ 116(b) and (c), charges for mobile telecommunications service shall be subject to the tax imposed by this chapter if the customer’s place of primary use is within the District, regardless of where the mobile telecommunications services originate, terminate, or pass through. No charges for mobile telecommunications service shall be taxable under this chapter if the customer’s place of primary use is outside the District.

(b) If otherwise taxable and nontaxable charges for mobile telecommunications service are aggregated, the charges for nontaxable mobile telecommunications service shall be subject to taxation unless the home service provider can reasonably identify charges not subject to taxation from its books and records that are kept in the regular course of business. A customer shall not rely upon the nontaxability of charges for mobile telecommunications services unless the customer’s home service provider separately states the charges for nontaxable mobile telecommunications services from taxable charges or the home service provider elects, after receiving written notice 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 identifies the nontaxable charges.

(c) The Mayor may provide, or designate a database provider to provide, a home service provider with an electronic database that meets the requirements of 4 U.S.C. § 119. If a database is provided and maintained in accordance with 4 U.S.C. §§ 119 and 121, a home service provider shall be held harmless from any tax, charge, or fee liability for errors or omissions due solely to reliance on the data contained in the database. If no electronic database is provided by the Mayor or a designated database provider, a home service provider may use an enhanced zip code to assign each street address to a specific taxing jurisdiction and, if employed and maintained in accordance with 4 U.S.C. §§ 120 and 121, the home service provider shall be held harmless from any tax, charge, or fee liability that otherwise would be due solely as a result of an assignment of a street address to an incorrect taxing jurisdiction.

(d)(1) A home service provider shall obtain and maintain a customer’s place of primary use. Subject to 4 U.S.C. § 121, if the home service provider’s reliance on information provided by its customer is in good faith, the home service provider:

(A) May rely on the applicable residential or business street address provided by the home service provider’s customer; and

(B) Shall not be liable for any additional taxes, charges, or fees based on a different determination of the place of primary use for taxes, charges, or fees that are customarily passed on to the customer as a separate itemized charge.

(2) The Mayor may correct the place of primary use or correct the assignment of a taxing jurisdiction by a home service provider in accordance with 4 U.S.C.S. 121.

(3) Except as provided in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, a home service provider may treat the address used by the home service provider for tax purposes for any customer under a service contract or agreement in effect on or before July 28, 2002, as that customer’s place of primary use for the remaining term of the service contract or agreement, excluding any extension or renewal of the service contract or agreement, for purposes of determining the taxing jurisdiction to which taxes, charges, or fees on charges for mobile telecommunications service should be remitted.

(e) 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 section is erroneous, the customer shall notify the home service provider in writing. 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 section, 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 not to exceed 2 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.

(f) The Mayor shall issue regulations to implement the provisions of this section and § 47-3902(b). The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council for a 90-day review period, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, in whole or in part, by resolution within the 90-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed approved.


(March 25, 2003, D.C. Law 14-215, § 2(d), 49 DCR 9444.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-3902.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of this section, see §§ 2(d) and (3) of Mobile Telecommunications Sourcing Conformity Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-442, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 7835).

For temporary (90 day) addition of this section, see § 2(d) of Mobile Telecommunications Sourcing Conformity Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-509, October 23, 2002, 49 DCR 10240).

For temporary (90 day) addition of this section, see § 2(d) of Mobile Telecommunications Sourcing Conformity Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-5, January 22, 2003, 50 DCR 1446).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of Law 14-215: Section 3 of D.C. Law 14-215 provided: “This act shall apply to charges for mobile telecommunications services reflected on customer bills issued after August 1, 2002.”