(a) By December 31, 1998, the Department of Revenue shall develop and promulgate in the form of a proposed agency rule a standard multi-jurisdictional tax form and a singular jurisdictional tax form for the reporting and payment of municipal and county sales, use, rental, and lodgings taxes for those municipalities and counties for which the department serves as the collecting agent from time to time.
(b) By December 31, 1998, a committee consisting of three representatives appointed by the Alabama League of Municipalities (ALM), who shall be municipal employees, officials, or attorneys, and three representatives appointed by the Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA), who shall be county employees, officials, or attorneys, shall develop a standard multiple jurisdictional tax form and a singular jurisdictional tax form for the reporting and payment of all county and municipal sales, use, rental, and lodgings taxes for all counties and municipalities, except municipalities and counties that levy a gross receipts tax in the nature of a sales tax, as defined in Section 40-2A-3(8), that elects to be self-administered, as defined in Section 40-2A-3(21), from time to time. The committee shall also establish procedures for issuance of an amended form to take into account any new levies or changes in the tax rate or the law. Once the form and procedures are developed by the committee, they shall be distributed for comment to all counties and municipalities, the Business Council of Alabama, the Alabama Retail Association, the Alabama Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, and the Department of Revenue. Comments shall be returned to the committee within 45 days. Following the close of the comment period, the committee shall adopt a standard form and the procedures for issuance of an amended form. The form and procedure shall thereafter be distributed to self-administered counties and municipalities with instructions that the standard form shall be used by each self-administered county and municipality.
(c) On and after the first day of the third month following the adoption of the standard tax forms prescribed by subsection (a) and subsection (b), all municipalities and counties administered by the department, and all self-administered counties and municipalities, respectively, shall accept the applicable form without material variation. Subsequent changes to the form prescribed by subsection (b) shall be effected in compliance with the procedures developed by the committee. Any change in the tax rate shall take effect without regard to the form in use.
(d) Other than a self-administered county or municipality that levies a gross receipts tax in the nature of a sales tax, as defined in Section 40-2A-3(8), any county or municipality levying or administering any one or more sales, use, rental, or lodgings taxes shall accept, for reporting and payment of taxes due that county or municipality, bulk submissions of reports and, under regulations to be promulgated by the self-administered county or municipality affected, payments owed to such county or municipality made on behalf of a taxpayer by its properly authorized representative where such submissions are made using the appropriate form developed under this section. Any such bulk submissions or reports and payments shall include the municipality's or county's assigned identification number for each such taxpayer and vendee for each tax paid and contain sufficiently detailed information by which each taxpayer and each vendee can be identified such that a determination can be made as to the amount and method of assessment of tax against such taxpayer and vendee for the applicable county or municipality. The acceptance by a county or municipality of such bulk submissions shall not relieve the taxpayer on whose behalf such submissions were made from liability for any sales, use, rental, or lodgings tax arising from an error or omission made by the taxpayer's representative. Any self-administered county or municipality accepting such bulk submission may require that the submission be signed by the taxpayer or its properly authorized representative.
(e) By June 30, 1998, every county and municipality levying or administering a sales, use, rental, lodgings, tobacco, gasoline, or ad valorem tax as of June 1, 1998, shall submit to the Department of Revenue a list of the taxes then levied or administered by that county or municipality and the current rates thereof. Thereafter, every county and municipality levying or administering a new sales, use, rental, lodgings, tobacco, gasoline, or ad valorem tax or amending an existing sales, use, rental, lodgings, tobacco, gasoline, or ad valorem tax levy shall submit to the department written notification of the new tax or the amendment at least 30 days prior to the effective date of the tax or amendment. However, failure to notify the department, as required by this subsection, shall not invalidate the levy of the tax. The department shall compile this information into a written publication which shall be published and issued on a monthly basis to each municipal and county governing authority, private auditing firm, as defined in Section 40-2A-3(17), and to others who have so requested the publication. This written publication shall provide a then current listing of each county and municipality levying or administering a sales, use, rental, lodgings, tobacco, gasoline, or ad valorem tax and the current rate thereof. A taxpayer shall not be relieved of liability for the proper amount of taxes owed even though the published tax rate or levy was in error. However, no penalties or interest for late payment or underpayment of taxes shall begin to accrue until the proper tax rate or levy has been on file at the department for at least 30 days, unless the taxpayer had actual knowledge of the correct tax rate or levy as of an earlier date.