OBJECTION FILING: A Smooth Tax Dispute Process

OBJECTION FILING: A Smooth Tax Dispute Process

Objection Filing – A tax dispute resolution is a set of legal actions taken by taxpayers to resolve tax disagreements. The term “dispute” is frequently perceived as scary or tense by taxpayers in general. Many people believe that resolving a dispute entails a series of complicated processes, a tense courtroom environment, or the fear of difficult questions. As a result, some members of the general public choose not to fight for their rights to enter the dispute process, particularly in tax disputes. They would rather pay taxes that they believe are not owed than go through a frightening and tense dispute process.

The tax dispute process generally begins with the filing of an objection, followed by an appeal to the Tax Court, and finally a judicial review with the Supreme Court. Imagine that the public, especially the lay public, is in a room with judges, prosecutors, and all the people involved in it, surrounded by a tense atmosphere from the beginning to the end of the trial. However, there is one tax dispute resolution process that could be more convenient; it is called the tax objection filing process.

Objection filing, according to tax regulations, is more specifically regulated in Minister of Finance Regulation Number 09/PMK.03/2013 and Minister of Finance Regulation Number 202/PMK.03/2015. These provisions regulate everything from formal provisions and material tests to the deadline for filing objections. The objection submission is processed by the regional office of the Directorate General of Taxes (DGT) where the taxpayer is registered, so the objection submission process is still supervised by the same authority as the tax audit process. Because it is still handled by the same authority, many taxpayers are pessimistic about defending their positions in the objection process. Most of these taxpayers choose to focus on an appeal process in the Tax Court because the objection process will always produce the same decision as a tax audit process. Therefore, many taxpayers consider the objection process to be just a “pass through” process before entering an appeal process.

However, the objection process is a dispute process that is very likely to be won if a taxpayer can set the right strategy and steps. That means that if taxpayers can provide complete explanations and fulfill data and document requests made by the Objection Review Team, the likelihood of granting their objection filing is quite high. Moreover, the Regulation Number 09/PMK.03/2013 accommodates conditions that can help taxpayers in filing objections, such as two opportunities given by the Objection Review Team for the data request period to be fulfilled, additional explanations that can be provided by the taxpayers after the objection letter is submitted, additional explanations that can be provided by the taxpayers through the subpoena issued by the Objection Review Team, the right to respond and attend when the Notice of Attendance (SPUH) is issued by the Objection Reviewer, and other things that are more specifically regulated in the Regulation Number 09/PMK/2013, and other things that are more specifically regulated in the Regulation Number 09/PMK/2013.

Apart from the rights provided by the Minister of Finance Regulation No. 09/PMK.03/2013 and the Minister of Finance Regulation No. 202/PMK.03/2015, in practice, a tax objection is a tax dispute resolution process that is highly discretionary by the Objection Review Team. Taxpayers are often given the opportunity to express their explanation and provide additional data, even though the data request deadline has passed. Taxpayers are also given multiple opportunities to directly discuss with the Objection Research Team. It is not uncommon for the Objection Research Team to provide guidance to taxpayers to make the submitted data more readable and understandable so that the data review process is easier and the opportunity for the Objection Request to be granted is higher. Sometimes, taxpayers are even given additional time to provide explanations and additional data after the SPUH discussion has taken place. These prove that there are still many opportunities that should be used to obtain the objection granted.

In addition, the discussion process in an objection process at the DGT Regional Office is not as tense as the discussion or hearing in the appeal or judicial review. Sometimes, taxpayers are even provided with snacks and hot drinks during the discussion in the meeting room. The discussion process sometimes not only focuses on the dispute but also involves informal chatting as a form of closeness and familiarity between taxpayers and tax officers. Even jokes are often thrown in between discussions to make the process more relaxed. This condition is certainly a step in the right direction, because sometimes consultations arise during discussions regarding taxpayers’ obstacles in fulfilling their tax obligations, such as administrative obstacles or obstacles due to confusion in implementing tax regulations. This is also a place for the DGT to carry out its role of providing better services to taxpayers, which will certainly create a closer relationship between taxpayers and tax officers as well as good personal relationships. This good relationship will certainly facilitate better communication if, in the future, the taxpayer meets the same tax officer on other tax cases because the taxpayer already knows and has established smooth communication during the objection process.

Thus, if the taxpayer can provide complete explanations and convincing data, the objection review team will certainly have a strong basis for granting the taxpayer’s objection. This is because the DGT needs a strong basis of opinion and convincing data to conclude the objection process. However, if the objection review team rejects a taxpayer’s objection request, the taxpayer will certainly have clear reasons, so that the taxpayer can prepare a better and more effective appeal. If a taxpayer is unclear about the details of the objection decision, taxpayers are able to contact the objection reviewer team and request for explanation by either directly dropping a message via email or meeting in person in a proper way.

In summary, a smooth communication process that has been established during the objection process has proven more effective than a way of communicating that is too insistent. This is certainly in contrast to the image of tax dispute resolution for the lay public that was explained previously, because it turns out that the objection process can be passed with a fairer and more convenient process. More knowledge about the ease of filing a tax objection can certainly make it easier for taxpayers to fulfill their tax obligations and provide the best result for themselves.

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