ZIMRA would like to advise all its valued clients that all taxpayers who are not satisfied with an assessment or decision by the Commissioner have a right to object to the assessment and certain decisions issued by the Commissioner. The rights to object are provided for under the Acts as follows:

  • Section 62 as read with the 11th Schedule to the Income Tax Act
  • Section 32 of the Value Added Tax Act
  • Section 25 of the Capital Gains Tax Act

The decisions to which taxpayers can object to are referred to in the above acts and taxpayers should check whether the decision being objected on is listed in the above Acts.

Where and to whom should the Objection be lodged?

  • The objection should be addressed to the Commissioner.
  • The letters of objection are submitted at Head Office or at the nearest ZIMRA Office which the taxpayer deals with.
  • Upon receipt of the objection, ZIMRA will acknowledge receipt and inform the client that the objection is going to be processed and a decision is going to be communicated to them.

 

Processing Steps of the objection

In summary, upon receipt of the objection, the following process take place:

  1. The Case Officer who would have audited the case is required to write a report explaining his/her findings in response to the objection.
  2. The Regional Technical Manager reviews the objection report and letter then drafts a report for the Regional Manager’s consideration.  
  3. The Regional Report is submitted to the Commissioner at Head Office. The Regional report and letter of objection are reviewed by the Dispute Resolution Section. A report is prepared and submitted for consideration by the Commissioner.  
  4. The commissioner reviews the reports submitted and comes up with determination.

Why is the Objection Process Important to Taxpayers?

  1. The process provides unsatisfied taxpayers upon whom assessments or decisions are made with a platform for a fair hearing regarding particular tax issues which they need recourse on.
  2. The objection process can change tax burden position of the dissatisfied taxpayer.

Important Conditions to Note when lodging an Objection

  1. Any person dissatisfied with an assessment, decision or determination issued by the Commissioner may lodge an objection to the Commissioner, within 30 days after receipt of the notice of assessment or of the written notification of the decision or determination.
  2. An objection must be done in writing to the Commissioner stating clearly the grounds of objection. A verbal objection cannot be accepted.
  3. No objection shall be entertained by the Commissioner which is not delivered at his office or posted to him in sufficient time to reach him on or before the last day appointed for lodging objections, unless the taxpayer satisfies the Commissioner that reasonable grounds exist for delay in lodging his/her objection. Late lodgement of an objection outside the prescribed timelines has to be accompanied by justification as condonation is not automatic.

ZIMRA Determination.

On receipt of a notice of objection to an assessment, a decision or the determination, the Commissioner:

  1. May reduce or alter the assessment, alter the decision or, as the case may be, increase or alter the reduction or may disallow the objection; and
  2. Shall send the person upon whom the assessment has been made or to whom the decision has been conveyed or, as the case may be, to whom the reduction has been allowed, notice of the reduction, increase, alteration or disallowance.
  3. Taxes legislation provides that a decision to an objection has to be done within three months after receiving the notice of objection.
  4. Where a determination is not received within three months after receiving the notice of objection, the objection is deemed to have been disallowed.

 

Recourse if a taxpayer is not satisfied with the Commissioner’s determination.

  1. Under Sections 65 of the Income Tax Act [Chapter 23:06], taxpayers can appeal to the Special Court for Income Tax Appeals or the High Court if not agreeable to the determination by the Commissioner. For VAT, the taxpayer can appeal to Fiscal Appeal Court. Every notice of appeal shall be in writing, shall state whether the appellant wishes to appeal to the High Court or to the Special Court and shall be lodged with the Commissioner within 21 days after receiving the determination to the objection.
  2. The taxpayer can still further appeal to the Supreme Court if they are not satisfied with the Special Court for Income Tax Appeals or the High Court Special Court decision in terms of Section 66 of the Income Tax Act or sections 34 under the VAT Act.

 

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Disclaimer

This article was compiled by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority for information purposes only. ZIMRA shall not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from use of material in this article and no liability will attach to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.