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Office of Hearings and Appeals 

The Office of Hearings & Appeals is part of the Revenue Division of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (“Department”). It is an impartial decision maker between the Department and taxpayers. The Office of Hearings and Appeals is separate from the Department's audit and legal counsel offices and consists of Administrative Law Judges who are appointed by the Director. Each judge is an attorney licensed to practice law by the State of Arkansas. Their sole function is to hear cases and determine controversies between taxpayers and the Department regarding taxes, licenses, and permits. Appeals are typically heard by a single judge. The Office of Hearings & Appeals hears disputes involving Arkansas tax laws under either the Arkansas Tax Procedure Act, as set forth in Ark. Code Ann. § 26-18-101 et seq., or the Arkansas Administrative Procedure Act, as set forth in Ark. Code Ann. § 25-15-101 et seq.
Most disputes involve the Arkansas Tax Procedure Act, which includes proceedings regarding the following:

  • Gross Receipts Tax (Sales Tax) 
  • Compensating Tax (Use Tax) 
  • Individual Income Tax 
  • Corporate Income Tax 
  • Motor Fuel Tax 
  • Severance Tax 
  • Estate Tax 
  • Real Property Transfer Tax
  • Income Tax Withholding 
  • Beer and Liquor Excise Tax 
  • Wine Tax 
  • Waste Tire Fees 
  • Soft Drink Tax 
  • Refund Denials / Vendor Assignments 
  • Expedited Business Closures 
  • Bingo Permit Denials, Revocations, and Suspensions

The Arkansas Administrative Procedure Act covers the revocation of certain specific retail permits or licenses. Arkansas Administrative Procedure Act hearings are open to the public, while Arkansas Tax Procedure Act hearings are closed and confidential. Only you, your representatives, witnesses, and Department representatives can attend Arkansas Tax Procedure Act hearings. The Office of Hearings & Appeals does not hear disputes regarding driver's licenses or alcoholic beverage control enforcement. Such matters are heard by hearing officers or commissioners from other offices.

How the Hearing Process Works

After the issuance of a Notice of Proposed Assessment, Refund Claim Denial, Business Closure Order, or certain bingo or tax permit denials, suspensions, or revocations, you may file a protest of the administrative action and request an administrative hearing.  A Business Closure Order may be protested within five days of delivery of the Business Closure Order. A Notice of Proposed Assessment or Refund Claim Denial may be protested within sixty (60) days of service. Generally, a denial, suspension, or revocation of a bingo or tax permit may be protested within twenty (20) days of receipt of the notice of the Department’s action. Protests should be mailed or faxed to the following address:

Commissioner of Revenue
Joel Y. Ledbetter Building
1816 W 7th St, Room 2440
P. O. Box 1272
Little Rock, AR 72203-1272
Phone: (501) 682-7000
Fax: (501)683-1161

You may request an in-person or telephone hearing where you can present evidence and witnesses to prove your case, or simply submit written documents to be considered by the Administrative Law Judge.  There is no filing fees or other charges for requesting an administrative hearing. An in-person administrative hearing can be requested to be held at the following locations:

  • Seventh & Wolfe Streets, Joel Y. Ledbetter Building, Room 2360, Little Rock 
  • 408 Court Street, Arkadelphia 
  • 3104 Catalpa, Pine Bluff 
  • 2705 Paula Drive, Jonesboro 
  • 616 Garrison, Room 203, Fort Smith 
  • 1501 SE Walton Blvd., Suite 213, Bentonville

An in-person administrative hearing regarding a Business Closure Order, however, may only be held at the Little Rock Location.

If you choose to submit written documents, you will receive notice when your documents are due at the Office of Hearings & Appeals.

If you choose to have a hearing, you will receive notice of the location and time.  Prior to a hearing, you will receive a "Notice of Hearing" and a "Prehearing Information Request" form (The Prehearing Information Request will not be provided for administrative hearings that involve a Business Closure Order.). This document requests a simple statement of your arguments in the proceeding including relevant facts and law (if known). Generally, this request should be returned to the Office of Hearings & Appeals within 20 days of receipt but this deadline may be extended by contacting the Administrative Law Judge assigned to the hearing. All parties must exchange the completed request forms.  You should include names and addresses of all witnesses who will testify at the hearing on the request form. If you intend to call a Revenue Division employee as a witness, you should contact the Office of Revenue Legal Counsel and make arrangements with the attorney assigned to the case. To contact the attorney, call (501) 682-7030.

An Administrative Law Judge will preside over the hearing. Hearings are informal and the Rules of Evidence do not apply. You are able to present testimony, documents, and any other evidence to the Administrative Law Judge at the hearing and to ask questions of any testimony, documents, or any other evidence presented by the Department. You are entitled to representation or you may choose to represent yourself in the hearing. If representation is desired, it is best to obtain representation early so the representative will be familiar with your case. Should you need representation once the hearing begins, the Administrative Law Judge may grant a continuance and reschedule the hearing.  A recording or transcript of the hearing will not be provided by the Administrative Law Judge; however, you and/or the Department are able to bring recording devices to the hearing to create a record.  In cases with complex issues, the Administrative Law Judge may require submission of additional written briefs after the hearing to provide greater detail on relevant issues. Either party may also request submission of post hearing briefs on relevant issues if desired.

After the hearing or written document schedule has concluded and the Administrative Law Judge has drafted a decision, a written decision will be mailed to you. Because some issues are more complex than others, the time in which a decision is made will vary. Once all documents, evidence, and testimony are presented, a written decision is usually issued within 30 days. Complex cases may require additional time. The Administrative Law Judge’s decisions includes the issue(s), facts relating to the issue(s), legal reasoning applied to the facts, and conclusions of law. The Administrative Decision will also include information regarding your appeal rights and right to request a review of the decision by the Director.

Either the Taxpayer or the Department may request a postponement of a scheduled hearing or written document schedule for reasonable cause. The request for the postponement should be made as early as possible, preferably in writing. However, requests may be made by telephone in emergencies. The request should be made to the Administrative Law Judge assigned to the hearing.

A Taxpayer has twenty (20) days from the mailing of the Administrative Decision to request in writing that the Director review and revise a hearing decision under the Arkansas Tax Procedure Act. There is no appeal to the Director for decisions issued under the Arkansas Administrative Procedure Act  or decisions regarding Business Closures, which may be appealed directly to Circuit Court under Ark. Code Ann. § 25-15-212 or 26-18-1003. If you do not timely request a revision of a decision under the Arkansas Tax Procedure Act, the Administrative Decision will become the final determination of the agency. Regardless of whether you requested a revision, the Director may revise the Administrative Decision on his own motion within those same 20 days. The revision request should be addressed or faxed to:
 
Commissioner of Revenue
Joel Y. Ledbetter Building
1816 W 7th St, Room 2440
P. O. Box 1272
Little Rock, AR 72203-1272
Phone: (501) 682-7000
Fax: (501)683-1161

Appeals of Administrative Decisions and Revisions to Circuit Court under the Arkansas Tax Procedure Act

To appeal a Notice of Final Assessment (issued after the final determination of the agency), the taxpayer must follow one of three options: appeal the final assessment to circuit court without payment within 180 days; pay the total balance within 1 year of the date of the Notice of Final Assessment and appeal the final assessment to circuit court within 1 year of the date of the payment; or pay the total balance prior to the issuance of the final assessment and file an appeal to circuit court within one year of the final determination of the Administrative Law Judge or Director (if applicable).  The Circuit Court will conduct a de novo review and issue a final determination. The appeal may be filed within Pulaski County Circuit Court, the circuit court of the county in which the taxpayer resides, or the circuit court in the county where the taxpayer has its principal place of business.

To appeal a Final Notice of a Denial of Claim for Refund (issued after the final determination of the agency), the taxpayer may file a lawsuit in Circuit Court within one (1) year from the final determination of the Administrative Law Judge or Director (if applicable). The Circuit Court will conduct a de novo review and issue a final determination. The appeal may be filed within Pulaski County Circuit Court, the circuit court of the county in which the taxpayer resides, or the circuit court in the county where the taxpayer has its principal place of business.

To appeal a denial, revocation, or suspension of a bingo or tax permit, the taxpayer may file a lawsuit in Circuit Court within thirty (30) days after receipt of the final determination of the Administrative Law Judge or Director (if applicable). The Circuit Court will conduct a de novo review and issue a final determination. The appeal may be filed within Pulaski County Circuit Court, the circuit court of the county in which the taxpayer resides, or the circuit court in the county where the taxpayer has its principal place of business.

To appeal a business closure order, the taxpayer may file a lawsuit within twenty (20) calendar days of the date of the decision upholding the business closure. The appeal may be filed within Pulaski County Circuit Court, the circuit court of the county in which the taxpayer resides, or the circuit court in the county where the taxpayer has its principal place of business.

The Calculation of Interest
 
Interest on the amount of delinquent tax will continue to accumulate during the appeals process. Interest will be added to the assessment at a rate of 10 percent annually. You may avoid additional interest by paying the tax immediately. If the judge rules in your favor, the tax paid will be refunded to you. The refund will include interest at a rate of 10 percent annually.

OfficeAddressPhoneFax
Hearings & AppealsLedbetter Building
1816 W 7th St, Rm 2360
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-682-7003501-683-2098
Hearings and Appeals Mailing AddressPO Box 1272
Little Rock, AR 72203