National Tax Organization Grades Alabama Tax Effort

The Council on State Taxation credited the Business Council of Alabama for helping pass legislation that updated the Taxpayers Bill of Rights and created the independent Alabama Tax Tribunal, which began operating Oct. 1.

COST congratulated Alabama for significant improvement in the state tax appeals and administration process.

COST announced that Alabama’s grade in the COST “Best and Worst of State Tax Administration” Scorecard on Tax Appeals & Procedural Requirements improved from a “D” to a “B” as a result of passage of HB 105 in the 2014 legislative session. Governor Robert Bentley signed it into law on March 11.

The new law, which updates the 1992 Taxpayers Bill of Rights, created the ATT that is independent of the Alabama Department of Revenue’s Administrative Law Division, which formerly heard tax appeals.

Business Council of Alabama President and CEO William J. Canary said successful passage was due to hard work and dedication by the Alabama business community, the Business Associations Tax Coalition consisting of 27 business and trade associations including the Alabama Retail Association and the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants.

An independent tax tribunal increases public confidence in the system’s fairness by resolving disputes between the ADOR and taxpayers, Canary said.

“The Legislature deserves credit and has our heartfelt thanks for passage of the law that modernized the original Taxpayers Bill of Rights and created an independent tax appeals process,” Canary said. “Since the beginning, the singular goal of this legislation has been fairness.”

Passage of TBOR II, as HB 105 was called, had been a long-time goal of the BCA and was at the forefront of the BCA’s 2014 State Legislative Agenda.

COST said Alabama accomplished “significant and commendable reform that serves the best interests of Alabama and its citizens.”

COST is a nonprofit trade association created in 1969 by a few companies under the aegis of the Council of State Chambers of Commerce. COST consists of more than 600 multistate corporations engaged in interstate and international business. Its objective is to preserve and promote equitable and nondiscriminatory state and local taxation of multijurisdictional business entities.

-Dana Beyerle