More than 3,000 retail businesses to see better cash flow under law that relieves them of having to prepay sales taxes

Thousands of Alabama retailers will have better cash flow in October and fewer accounting headaches in the future, thanks to legislation signed into law this morning by Gov. Kay Ivey.

As of Oct. 1, Act No. 2023-422 by Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, will increase the threshold for submitting estimated monthly sales tax payments from $5,000 in average monthly state sales tax liability to $20,000 in average monthly sales tax liability.

Starting Oct. 1, only those with more than $500,000 in monthly sales, or $6 million in annual sales, will have to prepay taxes monthly, according to the Alabama Revenue Department. The Revenue Department estimates that an additional 3,100 small businesses will no longer have to prepay their sales taxes monthly.

Those with less than $500,000 in average monthly sales will still remit based on actual sales tax receipts for the prior month by 4 p.m. CST on the 20th of each month. According to the legislation’s fiscal note, it will “reduce sales tax receipts held in escrow by an estimated $15.2 million in the month of October; however this reduction will be offset by the eventual collection of actual sales tax receipts.

Governor Kay Ivey signs HB77 (Governor’s Office /Hal Yeager)

Garrett said the law will “reduce the number of people who must go through the administrative exercise” of estimating their monthly sales collections in advance. Businesses still have to “pay what they owe,” but it will save affected businesses some accounting and legal expenses, he said.

The change was part of the governor’s and the Small Business Commission’s legislative agendas. The law “allows owners to focus solely on turning a profit every month and staying in business,” Gov. Kay Ivey said after signing HB77 into law.

>> Read governor’s statement

Alabama retailers began prepaying sales taxes in 1983. In 2022, the Legislature raised the threshold for prepayment from $2,500 to $5,000 in average monthly sales tax liability, under the Small Business Relief and Revitalization Act. Annual sales went from $750,000 to $1.5 million with the 2022 change, affecting about 2,500 businesses.

In a tw0-year time period, more than 5,500 Alabama businesses will have been relieved of having to prepay sales taxes.


This article is part of the Alabama Retail Report, a communication for Alabama Retail Association members. Not a member? Join us!

Reprints or republishing are welcomed but require permission. Contact us for permission.