Fed Taxpayers Make New Tax Appeal Commission Busy

Fed Taxpayers Make New Tax Appeal Commission Busy

ADDIS ABEBA – The Number of complaints lodged by federal taxpayers has shown a dramatic increase over the past nine months as the newly formed commission started to hear appeals on a regular basis.

The new tax appeal commission has taken the responsibility of looking into appeals from the tax council beginning of the current 2018/19 fiscal year. Since then, the commission – with over 30 workers – has been reviewing far too many complaints lodged by federal taxpayers as compared to the previous three years.

Mulugeta Ayalew, president of the tax appeal commission, said over 1, 100 taxpayer complaints have been filed since July 2018.

“We managed to address 711 of them,” he said.

The number of complaints has shown an upward trajectory since 2014 – from 41 to 344 in the 2017/18 fiscal year.

“That is mainly related to the increase in the number of new entrants to the industry and other businesses in the country,” said the president of the appeal commission.

The appeal commission has also a backlog of complaints which are over 500.

Mulugeta said the previous agency, the tax council, was “not well organized” in its way to resolve appeals. The council, therefore, left the commission with a pile of unresolved appeals.

The Council – composed of freelance workers from the Chamber of Commerce, the General Attorney, the Ethiopian Revenue & Customs Authority, and others, presides over cases twice a week.

The commission workers are now forced to work overtime to clear the backlogs, he said.

Federal Tax Administration proclamation gives a taxpayer dissatisfied with the decision of the Ministry revenue a right to appeal an appealable decision to the commission.
The commission is accountable to the Prime Minister.

The Commission is required to resolve complaints within 120 days and provide the decision letter within seven days of the final decision.

The commission may take 180 days to resolve complaints “if a case is deemed complicated,” said Mulugeta.

If dissatisfied with the decision of the Commission, the taxpayer, within 30 days after being served with notice of the decision, may file a notice of appeal to the Federal High Court.

By Mhret G.kristos