New procedures for the handling of audit and disputes arising came into effect 1 July 2017. Certain categories of taxpayer can now obtain a “preliminary” tax audit ahead of the finalized audit act and have the right to object in writing to the findings of such “preliminary” audit. Additionally, appeals and complaints arising will now be considered by a new “authorized body” established in the Ministry of Finance (rather than the next higher level of authority in the State Revenue Committee). This new Appeals Commission will be chaired by the relevant Deputy Finance Minister and include representatives of State agencies and the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs.
This welcomed institutional reform reflects proposals made over time by ITIC and Sponsors, responds to criticism of a major deficiency in the tax system, and complements the 2016 changes to the judicial consideration of investment disputes.
Douglas Townsend is a Senior Advisor for the International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC), based in London.