Alabama to Get New Independent Tax Tribunal
- Mar 14, 2014 | Gail Cole
The State of Alabama is preparing to bid its Administrative Law Division farewell. It is to be replaced by the Alabama Tax Tribunal, effective October 1, 2014.
The new Alabama Tax Tribunal (ATT) will be an independent agency under the executive branch. Judges will be appointed by the governor, for six-year terms. Chief Administrative Law Judge Bill Thompson is on track to become the first Chief Judge of the ATT.
Under the current system, the administrative law judge is employed by the Alabama Department of Revenue—and appeals often challenge assessments by the Alabama Department of Revenue.
According to House Bill 105, enacted as Act 146, the purpose of the Tax Tribunal is to “increase public confidence in the fairness of the state tax system.” The new, independent agency will “hear appeals of tax and other matters administered by the Department of Revenue and certain self-administered counties and municipalities that choose to participate with the Alabama Tax Tribunal to hear appeals of taxes levied by or on behalf of self-administered counties or municipalities.”
BABC LLP highlights the importance of the new tribunal. For the first time, taxpayers will be able “to appeal most assessments issued by localities or their contract auditing firms to the new ATT.” Equally notable is the fact that taxpayers will not be charged filing fees for their appeals.
The new Alabama Tax Tribunal will work with the state’s new Optional Network Election for Single Point Online Transactions (ONE SPOT) e-filing program for local sales, use, and rental taxes.