Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Talking Alabama Taxes on The JMF Advisors Podcast

I was honored to spend some time recently with Kim Smith and the good folks at @JMFCPAs talking Alabama taxes on The JMF Advisors Podcast. To watch the podcast, click here.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Alabama's 2023 Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

Alabama's Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday begins Friday, February 24 and continues through Sunday February 26, 2023.

For a listing of exempt items, click here.

Not all cities and counties participate in the annual tax holiday.  For a list of those that are and are not participating, click here.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Tax Tribunal Once Again Confirms Broad Application of Reduced Machine Rate


Businesses would be wise to review their operations to determine if they are missing possible tax savings by using the reduced tax rate. The Alabama Tax Tribunal confirmed, once again, that the reduced machine rate for sales and use tax should be very broadly applied.  

In United Launch Alliance, LLC v. State of Alabama Department of Revenue; Docket No. S. 18-1033-JP; Opinion and Preliminary Order dated December 21, 2021, the Tax Tribunal's opinion reversed the Department of Revenue’s decision to partially deny a refund request. The Taxpayer purchased helium and nitrogen from a chemical supplier for use in Taxpayer’s rocket manufacturing facility. The Taxpayer paid state sales tax on the gas purchases at the general rate of 4%. The Taxpayer and the chemical supplier jointly petitioned the Department for a sales tax refund; arguing that the helium and nitrogen purchased qualified as machines that were used in the manufacture of tangible personal property and thus should have been taxed at the reduced machine rate of 1.5% under Ala. Code § 40-23-2(3).

The Tribunal discussed a slew of cases explaining that, for example, the “definition of machinery itself is broad enough to cover anything from a peanut-roasting outfit on Main Street to a blast furnace in Pittsburgh.” State v. G.T. Taylor, 80 So. 2d 618, 621-22 (Ala. 1954). The Tribunal discerned the crucial elements for machinery classification to be that the “machinery” was essential in manufacturing tangible personal property and that the “machinery” performed integral, distinct, and independent functions in the manufacturing process. In the Taxpayer’s case, the helium and nitrogen were used in essential testing to ensure that Taxpayer’s rockets were launch-worthy. These tests were required to be performed—and completed successfully—before a rocket could be shipped to a launch site. The Tribunal noted that the gases did not directly convert raw materials into rockets and that the Alabama statute did not require that. Instead, the statute requires that an item be a “machine[] used in…manufacturing of tangible personal property” to qualify for the machine rate. The Tribunal held that the gases qualified for the 1.5% machine rate in this instance and reversed the Department’s denial of the refund claim.

Monday, January 9, 2023

New exemption for state portion of ad valorem tax on business personal property


Effective as of October 1, 2023, Act 2022-53 – the Small Business Relief and Revitalization Act of 2022 - sponsored by Rep. Danny Garrett (R – Trussville), among other things, exempts up to $40,000 of business personal property from the state-levied ad valorem tax. 

The new law also grants municipalities and counties the option to adopt the same exemption by resolution or ordinance, although few, if any, are expected to do so.

This change effectively exempts 75% of Alabama businesses from payment of the state portion of this tax.

For the detailed legislation, click here.

More retirement plan income now exempt from income tax in Alabama

Act 2022-294, sponsored by Rep. Lynn Greer (R-Rogersville), beginning January 1, 2023, exempts from state income tax up to $6,000 in taxable retirement income for people age 65 and older.  

The new exemption applies to withdrawals from 401(k)-type accounts and individual retirement accounts, known as defined contribution retirement plans. Income from traditional pensions, called defined benefit plans, has been exempt from Alabama’s state income tax for decades, including those from both public and private employers.

To see details in the legislation, click here.