New Businesses

Complete a Tax Registration Form and return it to the Finance Department for processing. The completed form can be faxed to (256)427-5064 or emailed to FinanceTax@HuntsvilleAL.gov. When your new tax account has been established, you will receive a letter and/or email confirming your account number and filing requirement.  

You will find your account number on your City business license or your tax account confirmation letter. 

All individuals and entities having a city business license are required by law to keep records that clearly show all transactions subject to city privilege licenses and taxes. This includes, but is not limited to records showing:

 

  • All income of the business, whether by cash, check, credit or property.
  • Customer invoices establishing the delivery location of business merchandise and taxes collected.
  • Customer sales tax exemption documents, when applicable.
  • All banking activities.
  • All purchases by the business, whether by cash, check, credit or property.
  • Invoices from vendors.
  • Payroll records.
  • Real and personal property owned by the business.

 

Failure to keep proper records and make them available upon the city’s request constitutes a misdemeanor offense for which the city may issue a citation for observed violations. You are strongly encouraged to consult with your advisers about the law’s requirements, or contact the city for more information. Retail businesses receiving primarily cash are especially encouraged to establish proper record keeping procedures to avoid city penalties.  


Taxes Administered by the City

The City of Huntsville administers the following taxes: Sales Tax, Consumer’s Use Tax, Seller’s Use Tax, Renting and Leasing Tax, Lodgings Tax, Gasoline Tax, Liquor Tax, Tobacco Tax and Wholesale Wine Tax. Businesses and individuals who have transactions in Huntsville are responsible for reporting and paying applicable taxes directly to the city. 

Use tax is traditionally the most confusing tax, and should be of particular interest to individuals and businesses engaged in construction, contracting, and services, but it is very likely that every person and business is subject to use tax to some degree.

Use tax, at the same rates as sales tax, becomes due when the user and consumer of taxable goods does not pay tax to the seller, or pays tax to an seller that is not registered to collect City of Huntsville tax. Use tax is due on purchases made by Huntsville residents and businesses from another city or state which are not taxed.

Generally, if you would be required to pay sales tax on goods purchased inside Huntsville, but you purchase them outside Huntsville and do not pay local sales tax, you are probably subject to use tax and must report and pay it to the city.

You are strongly encouraged to consult with your advisers or ask city representatives about how use tax applies to your activities. 

Monthly. Sales, use and rental taxes may be paid quarterly or annually depending on your business activities. Contact the Finance Department for assistance. 

Yes. A discount is allowed if the tax paid before the 20th day of the month in which the tax is due. The sales tax discount consists of 5% on the first $100 of tax due, and 2% of all tax over $100. Please note, however, that the monthly discount may not exceed $400. 


Electronic Filing

SALES TAX, USE TAX, RENTAL TAX, and/or LODGINGS TAX must be filed electronically unless the State of Alabama has granted you a waiver from e-filing. For more information, visit the state online filing website at Tax Return E-Filing.

LIQUOR, GASOLINE, TOBACCO & WINE TAX returns must be filed by submitting a paper return directly to the City. 

ACH Debit is the preferred EFT payment method; however, taxpayers may request approval to submit payments via ACH Credit by sending an email to FinanceTax@HuntsvilleAL.gov.  Please include the following information with your approval request:

 

Legal Name of Business

State of Alabama City/County Account ID

Federal ID Number 

No. City of Huntsville tax e-turns and payments can be filed through the State of Alabama MAT System free of charge. 

Yes. Penalty and interest is due if the tax paid after the 20th day of the month in which the tax is due. The Failure to Timely File Penalty is 10% of the tax required to be paid or $50, whichever is greater. The Failure to Timely Pay Penalty is 10% of the tax required to be paid. A Negligence Penalty of 5% may be assessed if a taxpayer disregards the city’s laws or rules. Interest is assessed at the statutory rate.  NOTE: Returns and payments must be submitted by 4:00 CST on the due date of the return to be considered “on-time.” 

 


Making Changes

Complete an Account Change form and return it to the Finance Department for processing.  The completed form can be faxed to (256)427-5064 or emailed to FinanceTax@HuntsvilleAL.gov 

If you discover that you have made an error on a sales tax return previously filed, use a blank form marked “AMENDED” to report the corrected information for the applicable period(s).  Forward the amended return, a copy of the original return along with any additional tax, penalty and interest due to the following address:

 

City of Huntsville

Finance Department

P.O. Box 308

Huntsville, AL 35804 

 

Contact
  • Phone:

    256-427-5070

  • Address:

    Finance Office

    City Hall, 6th Floor

    308 Fountain Circle

    Huntsville, AL 35801

    View Map

  • Hours:

    Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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