Procedural Justice: Examining Tax Dispute Resolution Processes in Russia and Singapore

Evgeny Guglyuvatyy


Tax disputes are a common feature of the modern business environment, whether in Russia, Singapore, or the tax system of any other country. This is particularly the case for business taxpayers and more so for those at the larger end of the spectrum. The Russian tax system allows a taxpayer who is dissatisfied with a tax assessment to formally object to the tax authority. However, lodging an objection with the tax authority is the first mandatory step in the tax dispute resolution process. The Singaporean tax system operates in a broadly similar fashion. In other words, in Russia and Singapore, a taxpayer is only able to legally appeal an adverse decision to either the tribunal or the court after filing a formal objection with the tax authority which undergoes an internal administrative review Thus, it can be argued that taxpayers are unable to choose the most convenient and effective option for the protection of their rights. Similar tax dispute resolution systems operate in many other countries. This article identifies a set of criteria, or “qualities” that might be expected in any administrative system of tax dispute resolution, and then uses these criteria to address the question of how well the Russian and Singaporean systems fare against these benchmarks. Based on this analysis, the article then provides general recommendations on how access to procedural justice for taxpayers might be improved.

Keywords: Procedural Justice, Tax Disputes Resolution, Administrative Disputes Resolution, Alternative Tax Disputes Resolution, Russia, Singapore.

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