Alabama House Passes Bill to Update State’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights

  by Stewart Weintraub and Jennifer Weidler

Earlier this month we blogged about HB 427 (“Bill”), titled the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, which was being considered by the Alabama House of Representatives (the “House”).  On April 21st, the House passed the Bill 88 to 0.  The Bill will now be forwarded to the state Senate.

As we stated previously, one of the many highlights of HB 427 would be the abolition of the Department of Revenue’s Administrative Law Division and replacement with a new, independent state agency, the Alabama Tax Appeals Commission (“ATAC”).  Modeled after the American Bar Association’s Model Tax Tribunal Act, HB 427 provides that ATAC’s jurisdiction would include hearing appeals of tax and other matters administered by the Alabama Department of Revenue and, subject to an opt out provision, appeals related to certain local taxes levied by or on behalf of self-administered counties or municipalities.

During 2010, the annual Council on State Taxation (“COST”) “Scorecard” gave Alabama a “D” grade for its state tax administration systems.  Passage of the bill by the state Senate would place Alabama with a growing number of states that have created an independent tax appeals process for both businesses and individuals.

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