Tax Insight: Rights And Obligations During Complaints Resolution

Anthony Galliano, Group CEO of Cambodian Investment Management, explains the latest notification from the General Department of Taxation.

The General Department of Taxation (GDT) issued Notification Number 7374 on May 4, entitled “Rights and Obligations of Taxpayers or Withholding Agents in Tax Complaints Resolution”.

GDT Notification Number 7374 is a sequel to Prakas No. 1470 MEF. Prk, dated November 6, 2015, “Prakas on Rules and Procedures of Resolving Tax Protest Letters at the GDT of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF)”. As a reminder, Prakas No. 1470 MEF set out the rules and procedures for submitting and resolving protest letters of taxpayers or withholding agents regarding tax assessments, tax reassessments, tax collection, decisions and other tax measures issued by the Tax Assessment, Reassessment, Collection Units of the GDT.

GDT Notification Number 7374 is a reminder that the GDT has the authority to receive and resolve any complaints arising from the dissatisfaction from taxpayers or withholding agent on a tax assessment, a tax reassessment, a demand of tax debts, and a decision or other procedures made by the GDT. In order to ensure timeliness in filing of tax complaints and the resolution process thereof, the GDT instructed and reiterated the rule and procedures for all claimants to follow.

1. Rights on Filing Tax Complaint Letter

A taxpayer or withholding agent who is not satisfied with the tax assessment, tax reassessment, demand of tax debts, decision or other measure made by the GDT can file a complaint to the Director of the GDT to modify any part, or the whole decision from the GDT. The complaint must be limited to facts or other information contained in the tax assessment, tax reassessment, decision or other measures or the procedures of collecting tax of tax administrator.

Complying with article 118 and 120 in the Law on Taxation, the claimant has the right to file the complaint letter to the Director of the GDT within 30 working days after receiving the letter of notification for tax assessment, tax reassessment, demand of tax debts, decision and other measures from the GDT. Any complaint that is filed later than that date stated above might be subject to rejection.

2. Meaning of the Complaint Letter

The claimant shall use sample form of the Complaint Letter that can be downloaded from the GDT’s website and must submit all the requirements as stated in Provision 5, 6 and 7 of the Prakas 1470 MEF.No dated on 06 November 2015, from Ministry of Economy and Finance. The GDT would like the claimant to pay specific attention to the required information below:

  • Address of claimant must be completed and true.
  • Telephone number of claimant (person responsible for the complaint) must be reachable.
  • Specific objective in complaint letter: Claimant must clarify clearly about their unsatisfied point on the whole or any part of measure or decision as the objective of their complaint.
  • Cause of action: Claimant must describe the event, facts, law or provision that claimant believes is true and is the fundamental rationale of the requested modification, and the measures or decisions that is the object of the claim.
  • Proof that claimant thinks can be used as supporting and giving benefits to the complaint itself must be attached with the claim letter.
  • The Burden of proof is on the claimant to clarify that the measure or other decision is incorrect. The claimant must collect and give all the proof to support their complaint.
  • Conclusion: is the suggestion of claimant based on cause of action and law.
  • Power of Attorney to a representative in case the Managing Director is absent (attach with identity documents of that representative).

3. Obligations of the Protestor

In order to make sure the process of this complaint is effective and timely, the claimant has the obligation to:

  • Join the complaint resolution meeting that they are invited too by the tax administrator. In case that the claimant is unable to attend the meeting, they must send a written letter giving reasonable details of the delay requested, 3 working days in advance before the meeting date. The requested delay to resolve the complaint must not exceed 7 working days. The claimant can appoint a legal representative to join the complaint resolution meeting. This legal representative must have the power of attorney letter (attach with their identification documents) and must have the capability to solve the complaint with tax administrator. The GDT has the right to reject this representative in a case that he/she is deemed as incapable or does not understand clearly about the business activities related to complaint and the objective of the company owner.
  • Provide necessary proof to support the complaint as requested by resolving complaint committee. All documents must be in Khmer Language. Proof must be provided by the deadline established by the resolving complaint committee. Request to delay providing proof must be reasonable and not exceed 7 working days.
  • Take full responsibility before the law on all proof that is provided to the resolving complaint committee.
  • Implement the final decision from GDT in resolving complaint.

4. Rights on Further Appeal

In case the claimant is still not satisfied with GDT’s decision on resolving the complaint, the claimant can file the complaint letter to Committee of Tax Arbitration, no more than 30 working days after the GDT issues its decision on the tax complaint.

Decision on tax complaint resolution from the GDT is the final decision from the GDT. The claimant has no rights, in any case, to file an appeal to Committee of Tax Arbitration or court before receiving final decision from the GDT.

The notification concludes with the statement that The General Department of Taxation hopes strongly that all taxpayers or withholding agents will pay attention and implement this instruction effectively from this signature date onwards.

This article was written by Anthony Galliano, Group CEO of Cambodian Investment Management.

Cambodian Investment Management is a leading financial services company that specialises in Accounting, Payroll, Tax, and Corporate Finance. It is part of larger family of companies that includes Premium Human Resources, Cambodian Investment Management Insurance Agent, Phnom Penh BG Serviced Office, and Dynamo Digital.


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