The Tax Law in Ethiopia has put in place a three tier system to resolve tax related controversies. Tax complaints regarding administrative penalties and other tax liabilities can be brought before a review committee in the first stage. Tax assessment made by the Tax Authority is appeal-able before the Tax Appeal Commission, and finally the decision of the Appeal Commission can be appealed in the regular court systems.
The review committee examine and decide on applications submitted to it by tax payers for compromise or waiver of penalty, interest, and waiver of tax liability. The Review Committee review determination made by the Tax Authority for accuracy, completeness, and compliance with the Tax Law.
Applications must be submitted to the committee for review within 10 days of receipt of tax assessment notification by the Tax Authority. The Head of the Tax Authority either approve the recommendations or return the case with his observations to the committee for further review.
Tax Appeal Commission
A tax payer who has an objection to the tax assessment made by the Tax Authority can direct its complaint to the Tax Appeal Commission.
The Appeal Commission have the authority to confirm, reduce, or annul any assessment appealed against. It can also instruct the Tax Authority or the taxpayer to submit new facts, and order the Tax Authority or the taxpayer or any other person or governmental department or agency to produce supporting evidence relevant to the taxpayer's allegation.
Appeals are accepted by the commission upon fulfilment of the following requirements:
- a deposit of fifty percent (50%) of the disputed amount to the Tax Authority
- appeal must be lodged with within thirty (30) days following the day of receipt of the Assessment Notice or from the date of decision of the Review Committee.
The memorandum of appeal is submitted in multiple copies and should include:
- a statement of the specific subject matter of the appeal and the reason for the appeal
- the taxpayer's name, address, and TIN
- any other relevant supporting documents and a photocopy of the receipt for the appeal deposit should be attached.
Prior to the first hearing of the appeal, a copy of the memorandum of appeal should be served to the Tax Authority by the Appeal Commission and the Tax Authority should submit its reply to the Appeal Commission. The burden of proving that an assessment is excessive or that a decision of the Authority is wrong lies on the person objecting to the assessment or decision.
Appeal from Decision of Tax Appeal Commission
A party dissatisfied with the decision of the Appeal Commission can appeal to the competent court of appeal on the ground that it is erroneous on any matter of law within 30 days from the date of receipt of the written decision of the Appeal Commission. The court of appeal hears and determines any question of law arising on appeal and after reaching its decision returns the case to the Commission. The fact a dissatisfied party can only appeal over grounds of error of law automatically out rules apeal appeal on error of fact.
An appeal to the next court of appeal from the decision of the lower court of appeal maybe made by either party, within thirty (30) days of the decision of the lower court of appeal.
Such appeal will only be accepted by the court where at the time the appeal is lodged, the taxpayer has paid the tax liability determined by the Appeal Commission.
Tax Appeal Commission is located inside the compound of Ministry of Justice (opposite Bambis supermarket), 1st floor
P.O. Box 1370
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia