Con­fu­sion over old tax cases probe

Kathimerini English - - Focus - PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

The State Le­gal Coun­cil is pass­ing the hot potato of the statute of lim­i­ta­tions for old tax vi­o­la­tions (be­fore 2006) to the In­de­pen­dent Au­thor­ity for Public Rev­enue.

It ar­gued in its opin­ion yes­ter­day that the tax ad­min­is­tra­tion is not obliged to com­ply with the ver­dict of the Coun­cil of State that deemed the state’s prac­tice of prob­ing al­leged tax of­fenses dat­ing back more than five years to be un­con­sti­tu­tional.

The le­gal coun­cil stated that the CoS ver­dict only con­cerned one case, so “whether the tax and cus­toms au­thor­i­ties heed the de­ci­sion of the CoS as a le­gal prece­dent is up to the choice and will of the di­rec­tor of the IAPR.”

Le­gal sources ex­pressed sur­prise at the opin­ion of the coun­cil, say­ing that in­stead of pro­vid­ing a so­lu­tion to the is­sue of the con­stant ex­ten­sions, it ap­pears to have washed its hands of it and in­di­rectly in­vited the tax ad­min­is­tra­tion to ig­nore the CoS ver­dict.

The same sources warned that if the tax au­thor­i­ties do not fol­low the de­ci­sion of the coun­try’s top con­sti­tu­tional court – which does set a prece­dent – any­one re­sort­ing to the courts for cases re­fer­ring to years cov­ered by the statute of lim­i­ta­tions will win their case at the ex­pense of the state.

The State Le­gal Coun­cil has ef­fec­tively in­vited tax au­thor­i­ties to ig­nore a Coun­cil of State ver­dict.

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