(a) There is hereby levied an annual shares tax on all corporations incorporated or organized under the laws of Alabama, qualifying or registering to do business, or doing business in Alabama, unless otherwise exempted in this article; provided that all assets and other items of a disregarded entity shall be taken into account in determining the shares tax base of its owner and the disregarded entity shall not be subject to the tax levied by this article. The tax shall accrue as of January 1, 2000, and on January 1 of every taxable year thereafter, or in the case of a taxpayer incorporated or organized during the year, qualifying to do business during the year, or beginning to do business in Alabama for the first time during the year, as of the date the taxpayer incorporated, organized, qualifies, or begins to do business in Alabama, as the case may be. Except as provided in the following sentence, the tax levied by this article for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2000, shall be levied at the rate of $5.30 per $1,000 of the taxable shares base and shall not be less than $0 nor exceed $500,000 for any taxpayer. The amount of tax levied by this section for the taxable year beginning January 1, 2001, shall be levied at the rate of $1.33 per $1,000 of the taxable shares base and shall not exceed $125,000 for any taxpayer.
(b) If any taxpayer's first taxable year is less than 12 months because the taxpayer is organized or incorporated during the taxable year, or if any foreign corporation qualifies or registers or if the taxpayer begins to do business in this state during the taxable year, the amount of the tax levied by this article shall be determined in the manner specified in this article but apportioned to the short taxable year in the same proportion as the number of days in the short taxable year bears to 365, but in no event more than $500,000.