Tax disputes arise when a taxpayer disagrees with the tax authorities’ assessments. In these situations, a Notice of Objection must be filed with the tax authority within the stipulated time frame.
The Objection and Appeal Process comprises four stages –Objection, Review, Litigation and Finalisation.
1. The Objection Stage
The taxpayer has the right to provide a valid objection within 2 months from the date of Notice.
A Notice of Objection must state precisely the grounds of objection to be valid.
2. The Review Stage
When a valid Notice of Objection is filed, the tax authority will review the information submitted and may raise further queries. In some instances, the tax authority may arrange to meet the taxpayer on a need-to basis to expedite resolution.
If the taxpayer’s objection is accepted by the tax authority, they will amend the assessment to incorporate the tax adjustments. This amended assessment will be regarded as final and conclusive.
But if the objection is not accepted by the tax authority, the taxpayer may further object until such time when he or she accepts the tax authority’s decision, when the assessment will be regarded as final and conclusive. Otherwise, the tax authority will issue a Notice of Refusal to Amend as it becomes impossible to reach an agreement with the taxpayer.
3. Under the Litigation Stage
After the Notice of Refusal to Amend is issued, a taxpayer has the option to:
- Accept the tax authority’s decision on the dispute. If so, the dispute will be regarded as final and conclusive; or
- File a Notice of Appeal to the Income Tax Board of Review (ITBR) within 30 days from the date of the Notice of Refusal to Amend.
The taxpayer or the tax authority may appeal to the High Court against the ITBR’s decision only if the issue involves a question of law or a question of mixed law and fact and the disputed tax exceeds S$200. Thereafter, the taxpayer or the tax authority may appeal to the Court of Appeal against a decision of the High Court.
To ensure you are on the right side of regulations on personal taxes, read about personal taxation in Singapore.
At Singapore Tax and Accounting, our team of tax professionals has wide-ranging experience in resolving tax disputes without litigation. Our dispute resolution team has secured repayments and tax deductions for several of our clients through non-contentious means. We can leverage our strong regional and international network to break any dispute deadlocks and secure a deal with the regulators.
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