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The burden of proof in tax litigation

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2024 | Criminal/Civil Tax Litigation |

When people face tax disputes, they often find themselves involved in tax litigation. This process includes presenting evidence and arguments to support one’s case regarding tax liabilities or disputes.

A significant concept in these proceedings is the “burden of proof.”

What burden of proof means

Burden of proof refers to the obligation to prove the facts in dispute. In tax litigation, it generally lies with the person who brings the case forward. This means if you challenge a tax decision, you must provide sufficient evidence to prove your position is correct.

How it works in tax cases

In most tax disputes, individuals must demonstrate that the tax assessment made by the tax authority is incorrect. This involves providing detailed documentation, such as receipts, records and other financial documents, to support their claims. The goal is to present a clear and convincing argument that the tax authority’s decision was due to an inaccurate interpretation of one’s financial situation.

The importance of keeping good records

Keeping good records is necessary for shifting the burden of proof in one’s favor. Detailed and accurate financial records can make or break a case. These records serve as concrete evidence that can substantiate one’s claims and challenge the tax authority’s assessment. Without such evidence, proving one’s case becomes significantly more challenging.

Tips for managing the burden of proof

To manage the burden of proof effectively, individuals should:

  • Keep detailed financial records, including receipts, invoices and bank statements
  • Understand the specific claims or adjustments under dispute
  • Gather and organize all relevant documentation before the litigation process begins
  • Be prepared to explain how the evidence supports their position

Successfully navigating tax disputes hinges on the ability to meet the burden of proof with solid evidence and is important for anyone looking to contest tax decisions and safeguard their financial rights.