The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore has published an updated e-Tax Guide, Corporate Income Tax – Objection and Appeal Process (Third Edition). The e-Tax guide sets out the administrative aspects of the Objection and Appeal Process and provides guidance to taxpayers on filing a valid objection. Taxpayers refer to companies, registered business trusts, real estate investment trusts (REITs), and permanent establishments in Singapore including Singapore branches of foreign companies. With effect from 22 March 2023, the term taxpayers also refer to sub-trusts, exchange-traded funds, and private trusts (excluding trusts created under the wills of deceased persons and intestate estates). The scope of the Objection and Appeal Process covers all assessments raised by the Comptroller of Income Tax (CIT), except for assessments raised based on Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) submitted by the taxpayer.
The process is summarized as follows:
A Notice of Objection must be filed within 2 months from the date of service of the Notice of Assessment (NOA). Taxpayers are strongly encouraged to file the Notice of Objection via the "Revise/ Object to Assessment" digital service in myTax Portal. Alternatively, taxpayers may also submit an Objection Form when filing an objection via myTax Mail through myTax Portal (recommended) or by post. A softcopy of the Objection Form is available at IRAS' website. If a taxpayer prefers to file the Notice of Objection via a letter or an email, the CIT is prepared to accept it provided precise grounds of objection are stated.
An acknowledgement of the receipt and validity of a Notice of Objection will be issued by the CIT for objections filed via the following modes: (i) Via e-Objection (myTax Portal) – instant acknowledgement; (ii) Via Objection Form – 14 days from the date of receipt of the Objection Form; or (iii) Via letter – no acknowledgement.
The CIT will review and convey his decision in writing within 6 months from the date of receipt of the taxpayer's last correspondence with complete information and supporting schedules. For complex cases which the CIT needs a longer period for review, CIT will inform the taxpayer of the estimated time required to review the case.
A taxpayer is required to inform the CIT in writing whether it agrees with the CIT's decision on the item under objection within 3 months from the date of the CIT's letter. If the taxpayer fails to reply by the deadline, the objection will be considered as resolved and closed.
A Notice of Refusal to Amend may be issued when: (i) Information requested by CIT remains outstanding after 2 years from the date of receipt of the Notice of Objection; (ii) Taxpayer does not reply to CIT's decision on the item under objection within 3 months from the date of CIT's letter; or (iii) Taxpayer's agreement to CIT's decision is qualified.