Request to provide information
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If the Tax Inspector asks you to provide information or present documents, and you do not comply with this request immediately, he may serve you with an order to provide information. The order states what information is demanded of you.
‘eliciting’ an order to provide information
You can ‘elicit’ an order to provide information because you disagree with the inspector’s information request. The advantage is that you can object to and appeal against an order to provide information, giving you the opportunity to present the scope of your information obligations to the court even before the assessment is imposed.
Reversal and increase of the burden of evidence
If the court decrees that you must comply with the inspector’s request for information, or if you do not object to the order to provide information, it means that you must provide the requested information. If you cannot do this – for example, because you do not have your books in order, or the requested documentation does not exist – then what is known as a ‘reversal and increase of the burden of evidence’ comes into play. This means that the inspector is allowed to make a ‘reasonable’ estimate of what your income was, and it is then up to you to prove that the income actually received was lower. This is often very difficult. It is therefore very important to make every effort in the proceedings regarding the order to provide information, in order to prevent this reversal and increase of the burden of evidence. Jaeger’s lawyers have a lot of experience with the order to provide information and will be pleased to assist you to assert your rights.