More progress on proposal to halt tax court double standard

Legislation to end an unfair double standard in Missouri’s tax courts made progress in a Senate committee.

The Senate’s Ways and Means Committee heard testimony on Rep. Denny Hoskins’ House Bill 1455, which would ensure all taxpayers are treated as innocent until proven guilty in the state’s tax courts. Currently, businesses with a net worth greater than $7 million come into tax disputes with assumed guilt.

“This change has long been a priority of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. We believe that all taxpayers should be on a level playing field. This bill would put the burden of proof back on Missouri’s Department of Revenue,” said Tracy King, Missouri Chamber vice president of governmental affairs.

This fairness language continues to see widespread support in the General Assembly. Earlier in April, the Senate approved Senate Bill 829, by Sen. Will Kraus, which also contained this language. Sen. Kraus’ bill awaits a hearing in the House.

After hearing testimony on Rep. Hoskins’ bill, the Senate committee amended another bill to contain the burden of proof language, passing it out of committee. This bill is Senate Bill 881, sponsored by Sen. Scott Sifton, a Democrat from Affton.

Other amendments to Sen. Sifton’s bill include includes language stopping the Department of Revenue from demanding exercise businesses collect sales tax. Another amendment would require the department to notify businesses when there is a change in the interpretation of sales tax law, exempting the business from liability if the department fails to issue a notification.

The Missouri Chamber has been voicing concern about how recent Missouri Department of Revenue tactics are harming Missouri businesses. The chamber will continue pressing for final passage of these ideas this year to stop this harmful overreach by the department.

The Ways and Means committee also heard testimony about a bill that would allow sellers to absorb the sales tax on items sold. The practice is currently illegal in Missouri. Click here to learn more.

For more information about this legislation, contact Tracy King, Missouri Chamber vice president of governmental affairs, at, or by phone at 573-634-3511.