Tax probe digs to be capped at five years

Kathimerini English - - Focus - EVA KARAMANOLI

Hundreds oft­hou­sands of out­stand­ing tax cases could be archived as a sec­tion of the Coun­cil of State has ruled that the state’s habit of al­low­ing its own probes into tax­pay­ers and en­ter­prises to go back be­yond the pe­riod of five years al­lowed for by the Con­sti­tu­tion and tax leg­is­la­tion is un­con­sti­tu­tional.

The is­sue is now be­ing for­warded to the ple­nary of the coun­try’s high­est ad­min­is­tra­tive court, and if it agrees with this week’s ver­dict thou­sands of tax cases – in­clud­ing some sus­pi­cious bank ac­counts brought to the gov­ern­ment’s at­ten­tion by the high­pro­file La­garde List – may be shelved.

On the other hand, it is true that tax­pay­ers and cor­po­ra­tions have been held hostage by the state, be­ing forced to store decades’ worth of doc­u­ments and of­ten un­able to draw up their bud­gets.

The court’s judges stress that the statute of lim­i­ta­tions should cover a re­al­is­tic length of time that would be com­pat­i­ble with the con­sti­tu­tional prin­ci­ple of pro­por­tion­al­ity, adding that the con­stant ex­ten­sions vi­o­late the con­sti­tu­tional prin­ci­ple of jus­tice.

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