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Alabama Business Personal Property Tax: A Breakdown

Posted by Lisa English on Jun 17, 2019 3:26:08 PM

Alabama Business Personal Property Tax: A Breakdown

Our clients who file Alabama business personal property tax returns have different perspectives on the state’s timing: Some see it as having an early return due date; others see it as having a late return due date. That’s because Alabama has an unusual tax year compared to other states. Learn more about that—and a few other highlights of Alabama’s property tax practices and policies—below.

Alabama Business Personal Property Tax: What You Need To Know


Alabama’s key property tax dates can be summed up fairly succinctly:

Key Dates

Explanations

October 1

Assessment date (first day of the new tax year)

December 31

Tax returns due for the next year; tax payments due for the current year

January–October

Tax notices are mailed at various times; appeals are due 30 days from the notice date


If you regularly file in a number of states, Alabama doesn’t have a lot of dates to remember, comparatively. But the state should also stand out to you for another reason: its unusual tax year, which runs from October 1 to September 30. (Most other states have a tax year ending on December 31 or January 1.) Alabama business personal property returns are due December 31.

Here’s some clarification about what that means for you as a taxpayer:

  • Your December 31 tax filing is for the following year.

  • Your December 31 tax filing is based on the value of the property you owned as of October 1 that same year.

  • December 31 is the due date for both tax returns and bill payments.

  • The taxes you pay on December 31 are for the current year.

The late/early debate is reflected in the points above: Alabama returns are for the following year, which makes them early. However, they are based on an assessment date in the current year, which makes them late. For example:

A return filed on 12/31/2019 is for 2020 taxes, but the return itself is based on the value of assets owned 10/1/2019.

A few other key pieces of information for Alabama business personal property returns:


  • Supplies are taxable in Alabama.

  • Inventory is not taxable in Alabama.

  • Intangible personal property is not taxable in Alabama.

See how easy property tax management can be—schedule a demo of CrowdReason property tax software today.

Simplify Your Payment Process No Matter What State You’re Filing In


Because Alabama’s annual property tax process spans over two years, companies tend to approach the expense differently from an accounting perspective. (Tweet this!) Some businesses prefer to apply the tax amount to the tax year; others want to apply it to the year associated with the asset valuation. That can create a challenge with some property tax software, where dates may need to be manually changed every time you file an Alabama return.

Not so with CrowdReason. Our MetaTaskerPT and TotalPropertyTax (TPT) solutions easily accommodate this differential in accounting practices.

MetaTaskerPT scans your original Alabama tax notices for dates, amounts, and other important information and automatically inputs it into TPT. In the sample bill below, the date printed—and the one that will be inputted into the system—is clearly 2018.

Alabama tax notice

MetaTasker and TPT work together to make it easy for users to pay Alabama business personal property taxes in the tax year they prefer.

Within TPT, you can set the “Collector’s Tax Year” for whatever year you want; for example, some users would apply the amount listed in the tax bill above to 2018, while others would do 2017. You only need to set your preference once, and the software automatically adjusts each time.

Setting the “Collector’s Tax Year” preference in TotalPropertyTax

Example of setting the Collector's Tax Year to match the TotalPropertyTax system tax year

For the CrowdReason customer above, the Collector’s Tax Year is set to match the TPT system tax year. Bills imported from MetaTaskerPT with a 2018 tax year get paid that year.

The below image shows what it would look like for a CrowdReason customer who wants to apply the amount differently. You can see that the Collector’s Tax Year is set one year ahead of the TPT system tax year. So when MetaTaskerPT imports a bill with a 2018 tax year, it is applied to 2017.

Example of setting the Collector’s Tax Year one year ahead of the TotalPropertyTax system tax year

Our system also has numerous other features that make filing and bill-paying easier, including an integration with Anybill that automates payments. It’s also capable of generating hundreds of returns in just a few minutes. So whether you’re just managing Alabama business personal property taxes or taxes in a number of states, CrowdReason software can help your team be more productive, more organized, and even more valuable. To find out more, schedule a demo or talk to us.


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Topics: Alabama business personal property tax