In 2012, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Illinois Independent Tax Tribunal Act of 2012 (35 ILCA 1010), the effect of which was to create a body separate from the Illinois Department of Revenue to arbitrate tax disputes between taxpayers and the Department. Prior to the creation of the Tribunal, IDOR itself handled all such matters.
Although the act was passed in 2012, the Tribunal wasn’t slated to begin taking cases until the Summer of 2013. From that point till the first of this year, the Tribunal was in something of a no man’s land. Taxpayers had the choice of taking their cases out of IDOR’s Department of Administrative Hearings and transferring to the Tribunal, or remaining with IDOR.
As of January 1, 2014, the Tribunal’s rules are in full effect. It has jurisdiction over all cases involving more than $15,000 in tax (not including interest and/or penalties). The Tribunal also has jurisdiction in cases where there is no tax deficiency but total interest and penalties is above $15,000.
Thus far, however, the Tribunal has not heard very many cases. It has published its rules and procedures on its website, but still it isn’t yet exactly clear how the Tribunal is going to work and, more to the point, how a case resolved with a Tribunal will differ from working through Administrative Hearings.
The chief difference is of course structural. The old model was administration, dealing with collections and appeals agents of IDOR, while the Tribunal will function much like any other court. This might provide opportunities to taxpayers they wouldn’t have under the old system, though nothing’s certain until we’ve got a clearer picture of just how the Tribunal is going to do business.
Horowitz Law Offices represents individual and corporate taxpayers in connection with sales and use tax audits, collection matters, and other tax concerns at the federal, state and local levels. You are welcome to contact us at (312) 787-5533 or firstname.lastname@example.org