Tax decisions that could affect your business

The Office of the Tax Commissioner may periodically evaluate your tax file.

Tax refunds

Discovery of a tax overpayment may result in a refund for a maximum period of two years from the date of overpayment. You can claim a refund by submitting a request in writing to the attention of the Office of the Tax Commissioner. Be sure to also submit any requested documents verifying the refund claim.


If you file your taxes late or underpay your taxes, you will be subject to a penalty. The penalty fee is equivalent to 5 per cent of the payroll tax due for each month or part of a month that the tax is unpaid or underpaid to a maximum of 30 per cent.
An additional tax equivalent to the amount of tax may also be levied.


In the event of unpaid taxes, the Office of Tax Commissioner may make what’s called an “assessment of unpaid tax.” Additional tax may be charged up to 100 per cent of the unpaid tax.

Assessments are retrospective for a period of up to five years. Note: there is no time limit in cases where underpayment is due to fraud or willful default made by or on behalf of the taxpayer.

Appealing decisions on your taxes

You can appeal a decision made by the Office of the Tax Commissioner. Appeals are governed by the Taxes Management Act 1976 – Part IV and the Tax Appeal Tribunal Procedure Regulations 1981.

The appeal process works as follows:

  1. A person or business has 30 days to lodge an appeal to a decision made by the Office of Tax Commissioner. The appeal must be in the form of a letter to the Tax Commissioner and must fully explain the reason for the objection and relevant legislation in question.
  2. The Tax Commissioner considers the objection and must supply a written reason for his or her decision on the objection.
  3. Within 30 days after service of notice of the Office of Tax Commissioner’s decision, the objector may request the Tax Commissioner to treat his objection as an appeal for the Tax Appeal Tribunal.
    1. The Objector may pay the appeals fee in accordance with Head 75 of the Government Fees Regulations 1976 and provide proof of payment when submitting the objection.
    2. The objection must be in the format outlined in the Tax Appeal Tribunal Regulations 1981.
    3. The Tax Commissioner will forward all documents to the Tribunal.
  4. Before a final decision is made by the tribunal, the Tax Commissioner and Objector can come to an agreement orally or in writing.
  5. Either the Objector or Tax Commissioner may appeal a decision by the tribunal to the Supreme Court of Bermuda.