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Protection of t
axpayer's rights
of Australian taxpayers’charter
Yang Jing

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【摘要】Taxpayer's right protection question has already got the attention of the countries all over the world. Under this background, “ taxpayers’ charter " which the Australian government issues, has made the detailed and complete regulation to the national taxpayer's rights. This text tries proceeding from background that the taxpayer of Australia charter is released, regard this charter text as the center analyse charter protective action and positive meaning in taxpayer's rights.
【正文】

  Nowadays in the world, a lot of countries are making great efforts to seek to improve and serve and strengthen the method that taxpayer's right is being protected to the taxpayers, the reason among them , on one hand because if modern tax revenue system realizes high-efficiency operation, need the taxpayer's cooperation to a great extent. And another on hand that the nature of the tax country has determined the attitude to taxpayer of tax organization the change. Since the eighties of the 20th century, the global tax system reformed sports and nearly influenced every country. To the protection of taxpayer's right, especially the protection of the individual taxpayer's right, have already been paid attention to more and more by the developed country of economy. A lot of aim at protecting the important embodiment that the file , declaration of taxpayer's right have already become these national taxpayer's rights, playing a positive role in protecting taxpayer's right. Australian taxpayer's charters are typical representatives among them .

  The latest taxpayer in Australia charter comes into force formally in November of 2003. This charter has stipulated 13 rights and 6 main obligations that must be fulfilled during the process of having dealings with tax bureau that the taxpayer has by way of enumerating . Except <>Outside this brochure, ATO has also released 10 brochures and made the detailed , plain explanation to every fundamental right in the charter separately. In the preface of the charter, ATO shows clearly that hopes to establish a kind of relation of believing in and respecting each other with the community, and has made the commitment of abiding by the charter.

  According to taxpayer's charter, the Australian taxpayer enjoys the following right, from can be interpreted as the commitment to the taxpayer of tax bureau on the other hand:

  1.Treating you fairly and reasonably. ATO shows in the charter: We will treat taxpayers with the courteous , attitude shown loving care for and respecting; Handle affairs with the honest and supreme moral standard; Handle affairs just, exercise power in a fair and reasonable way; Make the fair and just decision according to the law , handle affairs in unanimous way and handle problem , listen to the taxpayer's suggestion according to the taxpayer's personal situation, and consider all relevant situations; Require taxpayers to pay the fund that should be paid according to the law, and solve incident , problem attracting people's attention or complain as soon as possible with the fair method . These contents are to require the tax bureau to exercise power fairly and reasonably under the frame of the law in fact, especially guarantee to exercise power with the just , professional and responsible attitude during the process of imposing the tax, and guarantee that the good will taxpayer avoids power and abuses the harm caused . ( 1) Treat taxpayers with the courteous , attitude cared about and respecting. The law requires that Australian all civil servants must be courteous and treat the public respecting, so the tax bureau must treat it with the courteous and attitude respected when associate with the taxpayer, and do everything proper and rational efforts to help taxpayers to understand and fulfil one's own obligation to pay tax. If the taxpayer thinks that what has not got courteously and respected by oneself has treated, can complain to the tax bureau through the channel of complaining . ( 2) Exercise power fairly and reasonably. Speaking from the legal principle , it is a request for the natural justice to exercise power fairly and reasonably. The just person who requires referee of principle naturally of the common law is just and has not implied or obviously lean towards the insight action. Principle indicate so charter it is legal this, know discrimination of tax bureau to or can't partial to by taxpayer; If the taxpayer chooses to exercise the legal right, the tax bureau will not adopt any objecting to intervention. Because the Congress legislates to entrust to the tax bureau and can exercise the power in the bigger range in the course of tax revenue, including require taxpayers to offer income interests and power , entry management place and power to obtain file files of the materials, so the charter stipulates that the tax bureau is obligated to exercise the power in just , professional and rational way. For example, if the tax bureau needs to obtain taxpayer's materials on hand, they will consult with taxpayer and pass simple and convenient and cooperative way and get these materials hard . ( 3) Consider the taxpayer's personal situation. The tax bureau should handle problem according to the taxpayer's personal situation. This means that tax bureau is confirming the taxpayer's personal situation, and while making the decision, will take the personal situation that the taxpayer is correlated with into account. This means that the tax bureau admits that taxpayers will make a mistake too while trying hard to handle affairs , they will listen to the taxpayer's explanation, and explain these to take into account. However, consider that the personal situation does not represent the tax bureau and will distinguish the ground applicable law to different taxpayers with the same situation.

  2.Your honesty and complying with the tax laws. This right indicates that the tax bureau infers that taxpayers are honest while dealing with the matters of paying taxes, and admit that the materials true and submitted of the situation that taxpayers says are intact and accurate, unless there is enough reason not to think the fact is like this. Infer honestly that right is a fundamental right that the modern tax law entrusts to the taxpayer, it is the embodiment of the modern social basic human rights too, there are very similar meanings with the presumption of innocence in the criminal law. The federal tax system of Australia is based on taxpayer's assessment oneself, taxpayer's charter stipulates that the tax bureau infers that taxpayers have not concealed the tax matters , unless the taxpayer's behavior makes the tax bureau have suspicion. Though the tax bureau will examine some high materials which will endanger the case, usually each taxpayer's materials submitted will be accepted, but there are taxes that responsibility guaranteed that every member of the society paid the correct number in the tax bureau. So, whether the taxpayer observes the obligation to pay tax in order to investigate and verify, the tax bureau has the right to the materials received, including tax form and operation form are reexamined (under some situations , can reexamine after several years , it can be up to 6 that it is the longest). If the tax bureau has enough evidences to prove that the taxpayer withholds the truth in order to escape the obligation on purpose while performing duty of paying taxes, the law will punish the taxpayer sternly probably, the taxpayer may be supervised under a lot of situations. Infer honestly that right is right stipulated more generally. For example Canada's " taxpayer's right declaration " stipulates this right clearly: The law thinks that taxpayers are honest, unless the evidence proves that there are opposite situations in fact.

  3.Get professional service that tax bureau offer and help, in order to understand and fulfil tax obligation. The taxpayer has the right to get the professional service that the tax bureau offers and help. This right is that the tax bureau promises a series of standards of providing service to taxpayer in fact. These contents include: Right , obligation and rights and interests of telling taxpayers to be correlated with; In possible cases , offer suggestions or information according to need of taxpayer (include using some services, for example translate or is it translate , serve while being bilingual to spread); Accord with and serve standard offered ,etc.. In the detailed explanation brochure of the charter, the service standard of the offering taxpayer of the tax bureau has got the clear expression. These standards include: ( 1) The taxpayer's registration and registering , declaring paying taxes and applying for the refund of tax. If the taxpayer applies for a Individual Income Tax number or registers, the tax bureau will send out the formal notice to the taxpayer's application in 28 days after receiving taxpayers and registering the necessary materials. If the taxpayer declares the income tax or the additional income tax to the tax bureau, the tax bureau will offer an electron to taxpayers to be replied and reply in writing in 42 days in 14 days after accepting. If the tax that the taxpayer paid more demands to return, the tax bureau will return in 28 days after receiving all essential materials. In some cases, the taxpayer can also demand to obtain many interest of expenditure some taxes . ( 2) To the reply which the taxpayer requires. If the taxpayer uses email or electronic form replying the function automatically that the tax bureau offers to put forward the request, will make the reply in a few days in 3 jobs that tax bureau will be after receiving all materials needed. If unable to reply automatically, the tax bureau will let taxpayers know this situation within 3 workdays , and the service standards of suitable 28 days. If the taxpayer has not used replying the system automatically , the tax bureau will make the reply in 28 days after receiving all materials needed. If the taxpayer has not offered enough materials , the tax bureau will get in touch with taxpayer and ask for enough materials within 14 days. ( 3) Alter and the objection. If the taxpayer puts forward the change to tax bureau to ask, make the decision in time limit that the tax bureau will confirm after receiving the taxpayer's enough materials. Concrete time limit is: Paper mold request, 56 days; Electronic edition request, 28 days. If the taxpayer proposes the objection to the personal restrictive suggestion , the tax bureau will answer in 28 days after receiving enough materials. If the materials that the taxpayer offered are insufficient, the tax bureau will get in touch with taxpayer to obtain the materials within 14 days. And if the taxpayer puts forward the objection on other items , the tax bureau will make the decision in 56 days after receiving enough materials. ( 4) Mistake and complaining. If the tax bureau makes any affairs or administrative mistake, they will correct in 14 days after learning that the mistake store in and getting enough materials. If the taxpayer complains , the tax bureau will be receiving and complaining that the last 3 jobs will be contacted with the persons who will complain in order to solve the problem in a few days .

  4.Choose the tax agent . The taxpayer can have dealings with tax bureau directly , or choose to be done by the agent . The agent can help taxpayers to fill in the tax report table , operation form , lodge protest on assessment and consult the suggestion on the taxpayer's matters of paying taxes. ( 1) Affairs of paying taxes that can act as agent . The taxpayer can choose anyone to help to handle the matters of paying taxes , but some special affairs of paying taxes can only trust and is handled by the tax agent who is registered . These special affairs of paying taxes include: Statement and objection and putting forward the suggestion on law of a certain tax revenue on behalf of the taxpayer of planning to declare paying taxes , conduct of business. ( 2) Taxpayer's agent chosen can have dealings with tax bureau on behalf of the taxpayer . This means that in case of great majority, the agent can receives the request for the materials , participates in the award of the tax bureau on behalf of the taxpayer on behalf of the taxpayer answer the tax bureau . If the agent is the legal operation person, the lawsuit that he can also appear in court on behalf of the taxpayer . ( 3) Authorize and entrust. If the taxpayer needs the agent to handle the affairs of paying taxes or obtain the materials on behalf of the taxpayer, the taxpayer must offer the letter of authority to the tax bureau . This regulation is for individual privacy and secret of the personal materials of protecting the taxpayer. ( 4) If the substantive paying taxes item and taxpayer of tax bureau are contacted , for example meet or in order to obtain the taxpayer's materials while auditting the affairs of paying taxes, the taxpayer can trust the agent to be present to participate in this course at any time . When the taxpayer needs to seek the opinion of its agent's suggestion , the tax bureau will offer rational time and chance. ( 5) The agent taxpayer appears in court. If the taxpayer decides not to agree with to a certain tax administration but refers to , the taxpayer can appear in court by oneself , or entrust its agent , act for the tax of registering, appear in court on behalf of the taxpayer. If the taxpayer should decide to refer to the federal court and examine, the taxpayer can entrust the law professional and act as agent and appear in court . ( 6) Responsibility of the taxpayer and his tax agent . The taxpayer must bear legal liability to one's own obligation to pay tax , must keep one's own paying taxes and note down and offer the correct materials to the tax bureau with rational attention . Even if the taxpayer entrusts others, for example the tax agent acts for and is engaged in paying taxes declaring or other taxpayer's file affairs , the taxpayer should still bear legal liability to the accuracy of the materials offered. ( 8) Compensate for the right of asking for. Australia's tax law has offered taxpayers to ask for right to the compensation of their tax agents . If taxpayer's definite losses of suffering or other harms because of carelessness and fault of its tax agent in the course of paying taxes, the taxpayer has the right to sue the tax agent and ask for compensating. For example because the fault of the tax agent causes taxpayers to be fined.

  5.The taxpayer's personal secrets are protected. Obtain the power of the taxpayer's personal materials for the tax bureau in Australia's tax law. Materials these is it pay taxes of people or other people to stem from. But the tax bureau must respect and protect the taxpayer's personal secrets while collecting , keeping and using these materials. ( 1) " 1988 personal secrets bill " (Privacy Act 1988 ). A series of measures about protecting citizen's personal materials of regulation of Australia's " 1988 personal secrets bill ", it is the main legal basis that the tax bureau respects and protects taxpayer's personal secrets . The purpose to set up these protective measures is protecting the individual privacy and guaranteeing to keep the balance between other public interests (for example the government's operation efficiency ). So, the bill requires the tax bureau to be in accordance with the personal secrets principle of the materials (the Information Privacy Principles ). According to the personal secrets bill, the taxpayer has the right to require the tax bureau to collect the materials and get rid of unreasonable invasion with the just and legal attitude, have the right to require tax staff to tell the reason which collect this materials and legal basis, and have the right to require the tax bureau to protect the state that these materials are in security. ( 2) File number of the tax. Tax file of taxpayer symbol " tax file symbol guide 1992 " and protection of tax law, no matter who collects, uses and reveals this kind of information. " the file number of the tax is guided " protects the personal facts number and materials with the taxpayer of the personal identity with related materials; The tax law protects all tax file number , including the company and other enterprises organize. ¢ÙUnless the mandate that received the tax law , helped the law and pension law promptly , the file number of the tax can't be used and revealed in the following situations: Set up and confirm the personal identity out of any purpose ; Obtain the personal materials out of any purpose , or; Compare with anyone's personal materials. ¢ÚAnyone keeping and holding the file number of others' tax must take the rational measure to prevent the materials from being lost , the ones that have not authorized are obtained, used, altered, reveal and uses other unreasonably. ¢ÛIt is not anyone that can obtain others' tax file number , only received the authorized individual of the law or the organization and had the right to obtain taxpayer's tax file number . Individual or organization without permission obtained file number of others' tax, will be punished . ( 3) If the taxpayer thinks that one's own personal secrets are infringed because of action of the tax bureau, the taxpayer can seek to be relieved through the following way : ¢ÙThe tax officer trying and adopting this action communication is solved ; If the taxpayer is unsatisfied, can communicate with this officers' leading body at a higher level of tax , or use the appeal special telephone line of the tax bureau. ¢ÚIf the taxpayer's above-mentioned problems fail to solve through the first kind of way , then the taxpayer can seek help to the personal secrets commissioner (The Privacy Commissioner ) . If the personal secrets commissioner decides to investigate that one is complained, and think that the situation which infringes personal secrets exists positively, they will make various kinds of decisions, including will compensate, these decisions can be enforced by the court. ( 4) Secret protection of taxpayer's personal secrets of clause of the tax law. Except that the protection that the personal secrets bill offered, the use about taxpayer's materials including file number of the tax and secret clause of disclosure have offered protection to the taxpayer's personal secrets in Australia's tax law. The tax law forbids the materials that tax officers looked over , duplicated , discussed or revealed the taxpayer, unless it is out of the need of fulfilling the duty to do it in this way. Meanwhile, the tax law forbids the other person through the illegal way too, for example violate the secret clause , obtain the taxpayer's materials. If the taxpayer's materials are got illegally by the other person, this third party will be forbidden duplicating, revealing, propagated or used these materials. The other person here includes the media . The person who violates secret clause of the tax law will be fined 10,000 yuan or imprisoned punishment for two years. ( 5) Disclosure of taxpayer's materials. Unless there is mandate clearly of the law, the tax bureau can't reveal the taxpayers' materials to any organization or individual .

  6.Ask for the right of the materials. Taxpayer's charter indicates , according to " free bill of information of 1982 ", the taxpayer enjoyed and asked for the materials related to oneself from the tax bureau, and other materials and right of file (such as used for making the decision public award and guidance file ). ( 1) Ask for the materials related to what the tax bureau held and oneself. If the taxpayer will ask for the file materials from the tax bureau, should contact tax bureau first , confirm that obtains the expenses of the exhaustive materials. Meanwhile, the tax bureau can offer some simple materials free too. ( 2) Revise the taxpayer's personal materials. If the taxpayer thinks that the legal materials file that offers of tax bureau has the following situations, can ask to revise and correct : The materials are incomplete , incorrect , has already spent the term of validity , or exist and mislead, and; Once, or may have used out of the administrative purpose . This kind of modification asks to be free. If the tax bureau determines to refuse to revise , the taxpayer can increase the explanatory note in the personal materials , indicate: Taxpayer's materials maintained are incomplete , incorrect , overdue or exist and mislead, and; Any other can make these materials intact , correct , not overdue or materials not misled . ( 3) Keep the time limit of the materials. Legal provisions, the tax bureau can't keep the taxpayer's materials sine die . The materials of different ranks have different keeping time. ( 4) Explanation to determining of tax bureau. If the tax bureau refuses taxpayer's following request, the tax bureau must state the reason for making this decision : Use the file; Revise the personal materials, or; Cancel or reduce or remit the expenses. Meanwhile, the tax bureau must also prove to the taxpayer that it enjoys and applies to examine right that should be determined . ( 5) Apply for the inside to examine. Under normal conditions, if the taxpayer does not agree with decision that State Taxation Bureau makes, the taxpayer has the right to decide to apply for the inside to examine. Taxpayer should in is it should submit and examine applying in 30 days after determining to receive. The inside is examined tax officers who will have no participation and should be determined implement. ( 6) Apply for the administration and appeal in the court and examine. If the taxpayer checks to the inside that the decision made is unsatisfied with, or to the decision which the tax bureau can't examine the inside , have the right to apply for the administration and appeal in the court to determining to examine. In addition, if the tax bureau delays the decision that checks that the taxpayer applies for the inside excessivly, the taxpayer can apply for the court to examine too.

  7.Obtain the reliable suggestion. Taxpayer's charter indicates , the tax bureau offers the suggestion and materials of intact , correct and consistency to the public, aim at making the taxpayer understand and fulfil the tax obligation, and understand one's own right clearly. The taxpayer can depend on one's own need , is proposed through various kinds of forms . The tax bureau will offer the general materials through printing the electronic brochure , information page , guide manual and other publications. These materials aim at stating relevant legal provisions, so that the taxpayer, according to one's own application of situation. The tax bureau will offer and propose orally to the taxpayer through the information special line. Meanwhile, the tax bureau will respond in writing on the taxpayer's consultation too. These responses may be general suggestions implemented to the law. The taxpayer can decide according to one's own situation how to apply to one's own situation these suggestions . When the taxpayer seeks to propose to the tax bureau, the tax bureau will help taxpayers to decide the ways of the most suitable offering suggestions and materials.

  8.Obtain the power of interpretation. Explanation that the tax bureau should be about the thing that the decision that the tax matters do is made clear to the taxpayer. But make an exception in some is special cases. For example, explain to taxpayer that the decision of the tax bureau will infringe the personal secrets of other people. In these special ranges, the tax bureau will offer the materials in the maximum . ( 1) Legal provisions, taxpayer is it pay taxes on their matters require tax bureau explain to the decision that is made to have the right. According to " administration determine bill 1977 ", taxpayer is it determine to require to win the detailed written reason on the administration of a certain limit free to have the right, except the decision related to assessment. For example the taxpayer can lengthen and pay taxes to applying on the tax bureau the decision request made in time limit is explained. According to " free bill of the money news of 1982 years ", pay taxes of people have the right with the free relevant determining that require to be explained in writing of money news on what the tax bureau made. In addition, the taxpayer has right that demand to apply to refer explaining and reason of decision which the court examines to the administration appealing. After the tax bureau makes the decision on the taxpayer's tax matters , should determine to make explanations and offer a contact telephone number . If the taxpayer thinks that there are mistakes in decisions in the tax bureau, can dial this telephone and discuss . If the tax bureau has not offered the corresponding reason , the taxpayer can ask for the tax and control commissioners and carry on the investigation . ( 2) Apply to examine decision or behavior of the tax bureau. If the taxpayer is unsatisfied with the decision or behavior that the tax bureau make, can apply to examine through a lot of ways . Check that may go on inside the tax bureau , may go on on the outside too, it can be the formal procedure that the taxpayer exercised the legal right too to go on in an unofficial procedure . The taxpayer can choose the suitable way according to one's own situation . The law is entrusted to the right that the taxpayer applies to examine on a lot of decisions related to tax matters . These is it may go on by tax bureau to check , go on by independent third party, for example the administration appeals in courts, federal courts, federal district court or the tax and controls commissioners.

  9.Complain right . Taxpayer's charter indicates , it is very important to respect the taxpayer's legal right and accord with a charter to propose serving standard and other standards. If the taxpayer feels unsatisfied with decision , the service or the behavior of the tax bureau, have the right to complain. ( 1) Complain to the tax bureau. The taxpayer needs to complain , should try and seek to solve instead of tax staff members that has come into contacts with all the time at first . If unsatisfied with this, can exchange views with this staff member's leader . If the taxpayer is discontended with treatment method to complain, can dial the appeal special lines of the tax bureau , can send and complain to the tax bureau in writing too. ( 2) Control commissioners to complain to the tax. The taxpayer can also control commissioners to complain to the tax . It has extensive power in investigating the case of complaining that the tax controls commissioners, including inquire staff members of the tax and procuratorial’s work file . Investigate it is the independence , unofficial , unofficial and free. The tax controls commissioners after the investigation, will submit a suggestion to tax bureau, including require the tax bureau to rethink a certain decision , make explanations or compensate on a certain decision.

  10.Carry out the tax system with the minimum cost method . The tax bureau promises, reduce to the lowest method and carry out the tax system for the cost that makes taxpayers fulfil the tax obligation. In order to achieve this purpose effectively, the tax bureau will consult the social personage's suggestion . In the range that the law permits, the method that the tax bureau will come into contacts with the taxpayers makes and tries one's best to be simple and convenient, so that the taxpayer spends the lowest cost in fulfilling the tax obligation.

  

【作者简介】
    Yang Jing ,SCUT.
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