Raymond Yeung Tax Consultant former Assessor of Inland Revenue Department 前稅局評稅主任楊輝洪

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The objection and appeal procedures


Section 64(1) of IRO stipulates the conditions of a valid objection as follows. 

  • It must be in writing.

  • It must state precisely the grounds of objection. 

  • It must be received by the Revenue within one month from the date of the assessment.

My model letters to IRD may help you write an objection to IRD. Press here for details


The one-month objection period can be extended if the taxpayer is prevented from lodging the objection due to absence from Hong Kong, sickness or other reasonable causes. 


What constitutes "preventing a taxpayer from making the objection" was considered in the court case Lam Ying Bor Investment Co. Ltd. v. CIR [1979] 1 HKTC 1098. Press here for details


If an assessment is under valid objection, it will be subject to revision in all aspects. In other words, the revision does not only apply to the grounds of objection, but also apply to other aspects.  This was considered in the court case CIR v. The Hong Kong Bottlers Ltd. [1970] 1 HKTC 497. Press here for details


If the assessment is estimated in the absence of a tax return, the taxpayer must file a properly completed tax return in support of his objection.  


What is a properly completed return was considered in the court case CIR v. Mayland Woven Labels Factory Ltd. Press here for details 


If a taxpayer's objection is valid, the Commissioner will inform the taxpayer by way of a standard letter ordering the amount of tax to be held over, if any, pending the result of the objection. As stated in the notice of assessment, the taxpayer should pay all the tax, even though part of it is in dispute, on or before the due date unless and until the Commissioner orders otherwise. If the tax is held over unconditionally and the taxpayer loses the case at last, the taxpayer will be required to pay the tax plus interest on the tax held over. The interest rate is based on the prevailing judgment rates of law courts. If the Commissioner orders no hold-over of tax in dispute and the taxpayer wins the case at last, then only the tax overpaid will be refunded to the taxpayer ---  there will be no interest on the tax overpaid due to the taxpayer. 


A taxpayer objecting to an assessment may be required to purchase Tax Reserve Certificates  to cover the tax in dispute.

 Press here for more


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