One-stop tax system up and running

An optional Department of Revenue single-point tax payment system is now operational for Alabama retailers. Under a 2012 law, the filing of tax returns and paying city, county, and state sales and rental taxes can now be done at one electronic location, eliminating numerous tax reports. It’s called One Spot.

While most states have centralized their systems, Alabama has traditionally allowed cities and counties to collect their own taxes, Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee said. “For years and years, the business community complained it was difficult to do business in Alabama,” she told the Associated Press.

A 2012 bill sponsored by Sen. Slade Blackwell, R-Birmingham, and backed by the Business Council of Alabama became law Oct. 1. It requires the Department of Revenue to offer businesses the option to file tax reports and pay sales, use and rental taxes for the state, cities and counties at one electronic location.

The BCA’s 2012 legislative agenda included support for a single point of filing state and local sales and use tax returns. Thomas McGough, vice president of Thompson Tractor Co., is the BCA’s appointee to the One Spot State-Local Advisory Committee.

The existing state tax electronic system was expanded to include city and county taxes. The law also authorizes $3 million over three years to help cities and counties upgrade their computer systems to enable compatibility with One Spot, Magee said. She said the system is optional for businesses, which may continue their current tax payment system.

My Alabama Taxes, the State’s electronic filing and remittance system for filing state and some city and county sales, use, rental and lodgings taxes, has been expanded to allow retailers to file and pay all city, county sales, use, and rental taxes.

The Optional Network Election for Single Point Online Transactions can be found here.

Blackwell’s bill that became law can be found here.

-Dana Beyerle