Tax / Inland Revenue Department


How to write a letter to the Tax Office


Most people would find it daunting to write to the tax office, which is one of the most feared government agencies. It is common for people to write to the tax office on various matters, such as missing information, error in tax assessments, tax penalties, tax reductions, postponement on payment, filing a tax appeal or in response to a written request from the tax office on the tax return.

 

So long as you are truthful in your filing of tax returns and provide all necessary information, there is nothing to worry about. Writing a letter is one of the most effective ways of communicating with the tax office, and it serves good evidence that you have made efforts in raising an issue with the tax office (therefore less likely to be subject to a fine). Remember to keep a copy of the letter for your records.

There are a few important things to keep in mind when writing to the tax office:


1. Responding to a Notice from the Tax Office


You should read the notice from the tax office very carefully and respond accordingly. The tax office issues notices and letters for various reasons. For example, late tax return filings, late tax payment, verification of income, questions about tax return, tax assessment, tax refund, tax penalties etc. You should review the information provided by the tax office and see if there is any error or inaccuracies you would like to dispute about. Even if there are no penalties, you may want to ask the tax office for a postponement in tax payment or a waiver of the tax penalty so long as you have a legitimate reason to do so.


Include the notice you received from the tax office by copying the notice and as an attachment to your reply. Let them know the date and subject of their letter to you in the first paragraph. Identify the information they are asking for, and provide them with exactly what they have asked for (no more and no less than).

 

2. Providing Information to the Tax Office


Once you have determined that you need to write to the tax office, you should state your information in a clear and concise manner, answering all questions from the tax office. Respond promptly in the tax office letter and adhere to any deadlines. There may be some instructions you will need to follow, you should follow them carefully.

Provide additional or supporting documentation to support your point. If you think the tax office letter is an error or contains incorrect information, please summarize your explanation briefly and respectfully. Include accurate contact information and sign your letter in person.

End the letter amicably. Tell the tax office that you can answer any questions they have. Provide your contact details and thank them for their attention to this issue. Make sure you keep the originals of all supporting documents and only send copies to the tax office.

 

3. Writing a Request or an Application to the Tax Office


You may want to apply to the tax office if you qualify for a tax exemption, or if you are applying for a waiver from the penalties associated with a late tax filing, or you believe that the tax office has made an error in your tax assessment. You will need to have valid reasons for making such applications based on your specific circumstances. Typical reasons include – genuine mistakes, wrong assumptions or wrong advice provided by an advisor, a divorce or a death in the family, recent unemployment or a pay cut, etc. You should be honest and present all the valid reasons that apply to you. You may be asked to provide evidence, so don't exaggerate or overstate the facts.


Always end the letter with a thank you to the tax office for considering your request and provide your contact information.


4. Filing an Appeal to the Tax Office


If the tax office refuses or rejects your application, you may consider filing an appeal. You should write to the relevant appeal office and explain in your letter why you are appealing. Include the original tax office's decision as an attachment to your letter to ensure that the tax office know what you mean.

It would be helpful to make a list of the items in the tax decision that you are appealing against. If you are disputing some facts, you may need to provide evidence of the relevant facts to support your claim. Explain the facts positively and use your discretion to show them in your favour. However, do not conceal or omit key facts even if they are not in your favour. It is important to be honest and accurate in the appeal.

 

If you are disputing a question of tax law, unless you are a tax expert, you may need to consult a tax lawyer or a tax expert. They will be able to find and quote the relevant tax regulations and precedents that may help your case.


As your appeal letter is a formal document that could later be used in court, ensure you are truthful and have all the supporting documents for your appeal. Review your letter to ensure that there are no mistakes or errors. If possible, get a tax expert or a friend with relevant knowledge to review it.

Keywords:

Tax Return

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Tax Relief

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Tax Refund

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Postpone

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Tax Moratorium

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Tax Holiday

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