Tax Audit Practice

Posted by Haynes Buckner on May 30th, 2021

Tax Audit Practice taxpayers and government alike are frustrated by the persistence of audit delays. Taxpayers are frustrated over uncertainty about their ultimate tax liabilities. On Albanian tax administration's (ATAs) side, government revenues are not collected in a timely fashion and the inventory of open tax years mounts. This article express both the opportunity to comment on the ideas for an audit framework for large-file corporations and the government's implicit recognition that large-file taxpayers have such a significant stake in the tax compliance process that they can be trusted as cooperative partners in the resolution of issues causing bottlenecks. Notwithstanding the good faith nature in which the initial procedures were conceived, taxpayers have viewed some aspects of the audit protocol framework as intrusive, one-sided in favor of the government, and counter-productive to the goals of increasing the efficiency and currency of audits. Moreover, had the earlier drafts been implemented, they could have undermined other ATAs initiatives that have yielded steady improvements in audit cooperation. The government needs to continue to heed taxpayer criticisms and modify the framework to address taxpayer concerns as they arise. In other words, a mechanism should be developed, and timetable established, to review whether the audit protocol framework in the Audit Manual and the manner of its implementation "make sense" in light of changes in the tax law, availability of resources, and improvements in audit and management practices. Audit protocols, in my view, are evolutionary tools that must adapt to their environment. The ultimately ATAs offer of real-time audits, concurrent audits, and limited audits (compliance checks) for various legal entities is intended to provide the taxpayers with incentives to enter the agreements. I question, however, whether those incentives are sufficient to induce widespread, voluntary participation by taxpayers. Of the two audit initiatives, only the promise of limited audits is universally beneficial for taxpayers. For some taxpayers, the incentive of eliminating full-scale examinations of some tax years for some entities will prove sufficiently alluring to justify signing a protocol. The real-time audits (i.e., audits of discrete issues or transactions conducted prior to filing the return), based in first experiences results have been successfully completed. Indeed, taxpayers that have successfully completed one are generally enthusiastic supporters and view the initiative as an effective tool to eliminate issues up-front in order to expedite audits at the "back-end." Nonetheless, real-time audits may be impractical for taxpayers to undertake or manage. In many cases, short-staffed tax departments are already under considerable time pressure to meet the return-filing deadline. Obliging tax department personnel to respond simultaneously to information requests from the auditor and timely file the tax return will not be appealing to some tax managers. In addition, managing a real-time audit in a fashion that permits the "contingent numbers" to be included in the tax return poses a formidable challenge. Specifically, how does the tax manager impress upon the tax auditor a sense of urgency to finish the real-time audit in order to complete and timely file the return? Moreover, the protocol acknowledges that real-time audits should be reserved for limited situations. Consequently, I believe the real-time audit option as an effective resource and time management tool benefitting both taxpayers and the government, but we question its incentive value in encouraging participation in the audit protocol initiative. Finally, concurrent audits may pose a far greater burden than benefit to taxpayers, depending upon the organization of companies. For example, in many companies VAT records and tax filings are maintained by consulting companies, which may be in a distant location from the firm headquarters. On the other hand, firm headquarters staff may prepare the income tax returns for all of the group's operations. In this example, concurrent audits of income and VAT taxes would be a burden rather than a benefit. I believe that there are a number of existing practices and traditional audit approaches currently employed by ATAs that should be reaffirmed and incorporated in the Tax Audit Manual. By recognizing that there are good or best practices that have withstood the test of time, the proposed draft will be greatly improved and assure taxpayers that the protocols will not diminish protections otherwise accorded to them by law or customary audit practice. emploi maroc

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Haynes Buckner

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Haynes Buckner
Joined: May 30th, 2021
Articles Posted: 1