§ 887-X-1-.4. Hearings
(1) An appeal before the Tax Tribunal may be held in abeyance by agreement of the parties or at the discretion of the Tax Tribunal Judge, or an appeal may be submitted without a hearing on a joint stipulation of facts or otherwise as agreed by the parties. The Tax Tribunal may also, with or without a hearing, dismiss any appeal or grant appropriate relief to any party if a party fails to comply with any regulation or statute governing appeals before the Tax Tribunal, or with any preliminary order or opinion and preliminary order entered by the Tax Tribunal. The Tax Tribunal may also decide a case without a hearing if a party submits information or evidence that is, in the discretion of the Tax Tribunal Judge, sufficient to warrant a final decision in the case.
(2) If a hearing is conducted in a case, the Tax Tribunal Judge shall conduct the hearing substantially as follows:
(a) Open the record and receive appearances.
(b) Receive testimony and exhibits presented by the parties. All testimony shall be under oath.
(c) Interrogate witnesses if deemed necessary for a full and fair adjudication of the case.
(d) Allow direct and cross-examination of any witnesses.
(e) Require the submission of briefs.
(f) Continue or reopen the hearing to take additional evidence as deemed necessary by the Tax Tribunal Judge for a fair, efficient, and complete resolution of all factual and legal issues in dispute.
(3) Hearings before the Tax Tribunal shall be open to the public; provided, however, the Tax Tribunal Judge has discretion to order a hearing closed as necessary to protect confidential information or for other good cause. The Tax Tribunal may also issue a protective order on motion by a party if the party shows good cause why certain information should not be publicly disclosed.
(a) The Tax Tribunal may conduct hearings at its principal office in Montgomery, or, at the discretion of the Tax Tribunal Judge or as provided below, elsewhere in Alabama to give taxpayers a reasonable opportunity to attend a hearing with as little inconvenience and expense as practicable.
(b) If the appeal involves only one self-administered county or municipality, the Tax Tribunal shall, upon request, conduct the hearing in the county seat of the subject county or the county seat of the county in which the subject municipality is located, or, at the discretion of the Tax Tribunal Judge, at the nearest Department Taxpayer Service Center. If an appeal involves more than one self-administered county or municipality, the Tax Tribunal shall conduct the hearing at a Department Taxpayer Service Center or other location that is, in the Tax Tribunal Judge's discretion, most convenient to the counties and/or municipalities involved in the case.
(5) Hearings involving taxpayers that appear pro se or that are represented by an authorized representative who is not an attorney shall be informal in nature. To ensure a fair hearing in such cases, the Tax Tribunal Judge may explain to the pro se taxpayer or the taxpayer's non-attorney authorized representative the general procedures to be followed in the hearing, the legal issue or issues involved in the case, and the facts that are generally relevant in deciding the legal issue or issues. The intent of this subsection is to ensure that all taxpayers will receive a fair hearing, and that taxpayers and their non-attorney representative fully understand the legal issue or issues and the relevant facts involved in the case.(Amended by Alabama Administrative Monthly Volume XXXII, Issue No. 12, September 30, 2014, eff. October 14, 2014.)
Author: William L. Thompson
Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, § 40-2B-1
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