SIATP TED Session: Tax Disputes – Paving the way

On 13 August 2015, Mr Ong Sim Ho gave a presentation on “Tax Disputes: Paving the Way beyond the Board of Review” as part of the Singapore Institute of Accredited Tax Professional’s (SIATPTax Excellence Decoded series. The focus was on effective strategies in the management of tax disputes which have proceeded beyond the Boards of Review. The session began with a comparative analysis of Board hearings as opposed to appeal hearings before the High Court or Court of Appeal. Insights were shared regarding the factors which should be considered when making the decision to appeal. Various tax litigation strategies were also distilled from an empirical study of the success rates of tax litigations before the various tribunals and courts over the past 10 years. Turning to management of the appeal itself, Mr Ong highlighted the importance of building the foundation of a good case – having solid evidence before the different forum and the factual basis to support the grounds for appeal. He also emphasised the necessity for “differential advocacy” and particularly – effective written advocacy. The session closed with thoughtful discussion of specialised augmentations for specific scenarios and their efficacy.