By: Mhret G.kristos
ADDIS ABEBA – Complaints lodged by federal taxpayer’s 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 responsibilities of looking into appeals from tax council beginning of the current 2018/19 fiscal year. Since then, the commission – with over 30 workers – has been reviewing far too much complaints lodged by federal taxpayers as compared to the previous three years.
Mulugeta Ayalew, president of 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 upward trajectory since 2014 – from 41 to be 344 in the 2017/18 fiscal year.
“That is mainly related to the increase in the number of new entrants to industry and other businesses in the country,” said president of the appeal commission.
The appeal commission has also a backlog of complaints which are over 500.
Mulugeta said the previous agency, tax council, was “not well organized” in its way to resolve appeals. The council, therefore, left the commission with pile of unresolved appeals.
The Council – composed of freelance workers from Chamber of Commerce, General Attorney, Ethiopian Revenue & Customs Authority and others, to preside over cases twice a week.
The commission workers are now forced to work over time 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 resolves complaints “if a case is deemed complicated,” said Mulugeta.
If dissatisfied with the decision of the Commission, taxpayer, within 30 days after being served with notice of the decision, may file a notice of appeal to the Federal High Court.