PLOLGT Vol. IA. – “Taxpayer’s Rights” appearing in statutes or revenue measures that are not enforced or at least asserted are useless declaratory statements which have the reverse effect of encouraging more violations with impunity by unscrupulous tax collectors and assessors. But enforcing taxpayer’s rights is a daunting task which requires preparing letters of protests and appeals, appearing before administrative bodies, and even resorting to judicial action. In sum, enforcing rights demands the expenditure of considerable time, effort, and money, which small taxpayers can ill afford.
But there is something that a small taxpayer can do sort of hiring expensive tax lawyers and accountants; and that is to understand thoroughly and well the legal grounds of his case, and then to assert his right by arguing verbally before tax people in the local treasury or assessment offices. Not infrequently one meets sensible personnel who have the patience to listen and understand verbal explanations of small taxpayers, and who actually help in granting their rights under the law. Failing that, the taxpayer can take the next step by seeking the assistance of knowledgeable relatives, friends, and even helpful politicians or officials in government, who have the time to understand his case and willing to intercede in his behalf before the local treasurer or assessor. In many instances, if the taxpayer has indeed a solid case backed by law, sensible treasurers and assessors are known to give in to the rights of taxpayers. But that is as far as the small taxpayer can go all by himself.
Before turning to other options of enforcing taxpayer’s rights, there is one thing that no taxpayer should do to secure his right: and that is to bribe people in government. Bribery is a serious offense, and the person who offered the bribe is equally guilty of the crime of corruption of a public official, and can suffer the same penalty as the corrupted officer.