Our mission is "to provide courteous, quality services and to administer the state's tax laws in a fair, timely, and cost-effective manner to benefit Idaho citizens."
The Tax Commission informs taxpayers about their obligations so everyone can pay their fair share of taxes, and it must enforce Idaho's laws to ensure the fairness of the tax system with those who don't voluntarily comply. The agency is organized into five divisions and has offices in Boise and five other locations throughout the state. For more background, read the history of the Idaho State Tax Commission.
The Tax Commission is an executive branch agency, which means it operates under the guidance of the governor of the state of Idaho. The governor appoints the four tax commissioners, and their appointments must be confirmed by the state Senate. The commissioners serve six-year terms. Besides presiding over specific tax types and areas of the agency, the tax commissioners also sit as the State Board of Equalization for two weeks in August. In that capacity, they hear and decide appeals for operating property — property such as railroads and utilities, which cross county lines.
- ISTC Strategic Plan 2015-2019 (06-27-2014)
- The Audit Division ensures fairness and consistency of Idaho’s tax laws by examining tax returns for potential errors and obtaining tax returns in cases where a return is required to be filed but no return was submitted.
- The Collection Division provides taxpayers with education and programs to ensure equitable and fair compliance, as well as payment of unpaid tax debts. The division oversees field offices around the state, and includes Taxpayer Services. Taxpayer Services provides tax preparation support and education, and serves as a link between the public and the agency.
- Revenue Operations processes tax returns and payments.
- Property Tax appraises public utilities and provides technical assistance and education for Idaho's counties to help them administer the property tax system. The Tax Commission conducts studies each year to determine whether counties are in compliance with state guidelines for proper administration of the property appraisal and taxing system.
- General Services consists of Legal and Tax Policy, Information Technology, Management Services, Human Resources, and Communications.
Chairman Rich Jackson
- First appointed: July 7, 2011
- Current term ends: April 1, 2017
- Corporate and Multistate Income
- Individual Income
- Estate Transfer
- Illegal Drugs
- Policy Management & Oversight:
- Human Resources
- Management Services / Budget
- Safety and Security
- Public Information / Communications
- Legal / Legal Operations
- Audit Function (Multi-state, Personal Income Tax, Withholding, Illegal Drug, Estate Tax)
Commissioner Tom Katsilometes
- First appointed: March 25, 2005
- Current term ends: March 8, 2017
- Ad Valorem
- Mine License
- Kilowatt Hour
- Beer, Wine, Cigarette, Tobacco
- Motor and Special Fuels
- Transfer Fee
- Motor / Special Fuels
- Policy Management & Oversight:
- Property Tax Division
- Revenue Operations
- Information Technology
- Leasehold Management
- Audit Function (Mine License, Kilowatt Hour, Beer, Wine, Cigarette, Tobacco, Motor/Special Fuels)
Commissioner Ken Roberts
- First appointed: July 12, 2012
- Current term ends: April 1, 2019
- Sales / Use
- Boise Auditorium District
- Idaho Falls Auditorium District
- Policy Management & Oversight:
- Tax Policy
- Audit Division
- Collection Division
- Audit Function (Sales / Use)
- Field Offices
Fourth Commissioner: Currently Vacant
The lists above include major responsibilities assigned to that person. Although commissioners have primary responsibilities over certain areas, they provide backup coverage for each other when needed.
The function of today's Tax Commission is very different from its earliest predecessors, which were charged with overseeing how Idaho land and other property was valued and taxed.
1890: Article 7, Section 12 of the Constitution of the state of Idaho, as originally adopted on July 3, 1890, created a State Board of Equalization. The Board consisted of the governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state auditor, and state treasurer. The duty of this board was to meet annually to equalize the valuation of the taxable property in the state.
1913: The Legislature created the first Tax Commission, which consisted of members of the Public Utilities Commission. This body was charged with administering Idaho's property tax laws.
1915: The Legislature repealed the law establishing the Tax Commission, based on a constitutional challenge.
1931: The Office of Tax Commissioner was established to administer the Income Tax Act, referred to as the "Property Relief Act of 1931." Income taxes were intended to offset property taxes levied for state purposes.
1939: The Tax Commissioner was given duties for other taxes then administered by the commissioner of finance, commissioner of law enforcement, and the state treasurer.
1941: The duties given to the Tax Commissioner in 1939 were taken away and given back to Finance, Law Enforcement, and the State Treasurer.
1944: A Constitutional amendment abolished the State Board of Equalization and transferred its duties to a Tax Commission with four part-time members. The amendment was passed in November 1944, and the Tax Commission's first meeting was in August 1945.
1949: The Office of Tax Collector was created and given the previous duties of the Tax Commissioner, plus responsibility for certain taxes previously collected by the commissioner of law enforcement, commissioner of finance, and the commissioner of agriculture.
1967: The Legislature abolished the Office of Tax Collector and transferred its duties to the State Tax Commission, which was made a full-time body. Duties included:
- State Board of Equalization oversight and assistance for county assessors and county boards of equalization
- Oversight and assistance for county assessors and county boards of equalization
- Publishing and enforcement of rules for all taxes
- Administrative review (hearings) on protested tax cases, except for property tax cases
- Administration for income tax, sales tax, motor fuels tax, beer and wine taxes, cigarette and tobacco taxes, mine license tax, kilowatt hour tax, inheritance tax, and unclaimed property
1974: A Constitutional amendment mandated a reorganization of the Executive Branch of state government. As a result, the Tax Commission and Board of Tax Appeals were brought under the umbrella of the new Department of Revenue and Taxation. This department has no director or staff of its own; it consists of its two component agencies, which operate independently and are funded by separate appropriations.
2010: The Legislature transferred Idaho's Unclaimed Property Program to the State Treasurer's Office.