The Third Amendment to the Tax Administration Act was published in the Government Gazette on 16 December 2020.
The legislative changes entered into force with this Amendment seeks to:
- Ease the appeal process for taxpayers;
- Grant the MIRA more power on the collection of non-tax revenues; and
- Further strengthen and promote international co-operation in tax matters.
Some of the key amendments reflected in relation to the appeal process include the following:
Time limit for conclusion of cases
- The Amendment introduces a time limit of 180 days for the conclusion of tax cases. . This applies to the Tax Appeal Tribunal, the High Court and the Supreme Court as well.
- However, the Tribunal or the Court may extend the said period for an additional 90 days, where the Members or Judges are of the opinion that additional time is required to make a fair judgment on the matters under dispute. In such cases, the reason for the extension must be specified in the judgement.
- Cases that remain undecided at the Tax Appeal Tribunal as at the date of effect of the Amendment needs to be adjudged within 180 days from the effective date of the Amendment. No such requirement applies to the cases ongoing at the High Court or the Supreme Court.
Extension of period for appeal
- Taxpayers are now allowed to file an appeal with the Tax Appeal Tribunal within 60 days from the date the MIRA made a decision on the Notice of Objection. Previously, an appeal had to be filed within 30 days from the date of the decision.
- The same relief is granted in the submission of appeals to the High Court and Supreme Court – a period of 60 days is now given to the taxpayer and MIRA if any party is in disagreement with the judgment of the Tribunal or the Court.
Reducing the amount required to be paid before filing a case
The Amendment also reduces the amount of tax required to be paid by taxpayers prior to filing an appeal at the Tax Appeal Tribunal. Taxpayers are now required to pay 25% of the amount in dispute – previously 30% of the amount in dispute had to be paid.
Advance Pricing Arrangements
MIRA may enter into Advance Pricing Agreements for a maximum period of 5 years.
Other significant changes included in the Amendment include provisions related to tax treaties, exchange of information and recovery of unpaid taxes and non-tax revenues.
The Amendment takes effect from 16 December 2020 onwards.