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Raymond Yeung Tax Consultant former Assessor of Inland Revenue Department * Service charge $500/hr

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What can you do if you disagree with an assessment? 

Fight! Fight! Fight to win! Below are some tips to help you fight against the IRD.

 

The first thing you can do is to write an objection to the Revenue. This is your statutory right. The legal requirements for a valid objection are: (a) have a written notice of objection signed by you, (b) send it to the Revenue within one month of the date of assessment (c) state your reasons of objection, and (d) file a tax return, if you have not done so ask for a duplicate return by fax or phone.

 

How about if you miss the deadline of objection? Ask the Revenue to accept your late objection. Section 64 of Inland Revenue Ordinance (IRO) states that the Commissioner can accept late objection on the following grounds: (a) absence from Hong Kong (b) sickness, or (c) any other causes that have prevented you from lodging an objection within the time limit. If you don't get the assessment, ask for a copy. Look out the address printed in the assessment. If it is different from your current correspondence address, state that as a reason for your late objection. You should be aware  that most assessments nowadays are sent to taxpayers by ordinary post and so they can be easily mis-posted. So, ask the Revenue to accept your late objection if you did not receive the assessment. If your objection is still rejected by the Revenue, contact the Complaint Officer via 2594 5000 or by fax via 2802 7625.

 

Your entitlement to married person allowance or child allowance will not be lost even if you miss the deadline of the objection. Write to the Revenue stating your claim clearly. File a tax return if you have not done so. If your claim is rejected by the Revenue, contact the Complaint Officer via 2594 5000 or by fax 2802 7625.

 

If the assessment was not estimated, then you are entitled to invoke Section 70A of IRO to ask for a revised assessment on the grounds that it contains an error or omission. The words “error or omission” are not defined in the IRO. From my experience, “error” includes one made by a taxpayer or by the Revenue, whereas “omission” includes an omission of fact or an omission of claim by taxpayer. So, insist you omitted the claim (if that is the case) or insist you omitted supplying all the relevant facts or documents (if that is the case). If the Revenue rejects your claim, ask for a formal notice of rejection of Section 70A claim so that you can send a formal objection against their rejection. Then, your objection will be processed as a valid objection under Section 64. If the Revenue does not deal with your claim under Section 70A, contact the Revenue's Complaint Officer by phone via 2594 5000 or by fax via 2802 7625.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the Revenue's processing of your complaint, send your complaint to the Ombudsman's Office.

 

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