The purpose of the questionnaire was to find out the similarities and the differences between the systems of the judicial control over administrative decisions in tax cases. This summary consists from the answers of following countries : Ukraine, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Lithuania, Slovak republic, Luxembourg and Austria.
what is a time frame in which the legal action must be filled
The most common time frame is 30 days after serving of the administrative act, by which proceedings were concluded there are also longer terms – up to 5 years in one example 20 days
Mandatory legal representation by the advocate only before the appeal court and the Supreme Court ; sometimes depends on the value of the case ; for the first instance legal representation is not compulsory ; parties can represent themselves on the first instance, if they have a person who represent them, the person should be qualified ; also there are countries with no compulsory legal representation.
So, out of 10 countries, in 5 there are no non-specializing what so ever in the field of taxation law, in 3 countries there are specialized courts and 2 no specialized court, but specialized chambers.
Generally the panels of 3 judges ; there are cases for single judge too (of minor importance or for procedural matters), complex cases, panel of 5 judges, no single judge in tax cases.
On the request of the party or ex officio, together with the claim ; in cases of irreparable damage to the complainant, (obvious risk of injury to the rights, freedoms and interests and if there are obvious signs of illegality of the decision) ; considering the public interest and the benefits of the opposing parties in accordance with the principle of proportionality, effecting till final decision
time frame for the decision
Different time frame : from immediately 1 day to 7 days or in a country were decision must be reached within 6 months (if not, a complaint about the breach of the obligation to reach a (timely) decision can be filed).
Model proceedings are a special type of proceedings for the judicial review of administrative acts intended in instances where there exists a large number of connected or related cases so that the proceedings are simplified and decisions in individual cases adopted in a shorter time. The court may decide to conduct model proceedings if more than twenty complaints were lodged against administrative acts in which the rights or obligations are based on the same or a similar state of the facts and the same legal basis. In such instances, the court conducts the proceedings (only) on the basis of one complaint, and stays the other proceedings until the decision issued in the model proceedings becomes final.
The objective of model proceedings is the economy and acceleration of proceedings. After the decision issued in the model proceedings is final, the court decides on stayed proceedings without a hearing, however, only if the state of the facts and the legal nature of the complaints are not essentially different than the state of the facts and legal nature of the complaint decided in the model proceedings. The model proceedings are reasonable only in cases, which must be decided, in a main hearing. In such cases the court namely conducts a main hearing only in the model case ; no – D ; no – LIT ; no – SVK, no – LUX ; no – A
Deciding at a Main Hearing or in a Closed Session
In 5 countries out of 10, oral hearing is a standard ; in others there is a possibility of an oral hearing, but not generally executed.
UKR - public hearing, closed session only because of secretes protected by law, the decisions are declared in public ;
FIN – main session – closed session ;
H – oral hearing ;
I – generally in closed sessions, without the parties being heard, but can be asked by the party and oral hearing is processed after the deliberation in closed session follows ;
SLO – oral hearing, but exemptions ;
D – in principle decisions require a hearing ;
LIT – in closed sessions, decision is announced orally ;
SVK – oral hearings (in closed hearing for secret matters, before appellate courts and at the Supreme Court in closed sessions), judgements are pronounced by courts in public ; LUX – oral hearings after which follows the deliberation (delibere) in closed session ;
A – hearing upon the request of the appellant, if the member of the panel considers it necessary, upon the decision of the panel.
The (Non)Participation of Experts in Proceedings and the Taking of Evidence
Experts are part of the proceedings ; they can be nominated by the court or proposed by the parties, only in Slovak republic court do not require the participation of experts
The Manner of Deciding of the Court of First Instance
Panels adopt the judgement or an order by a majority vote ; judgement is pronounced publicly with short explanation of reasons. In written decision there is always an explanation of legal and factual reasons, as well the opinion of the court. The administration is biding to the opinion of the court.
Legal costs and costs of the proceedings ; the main rule is – the losing party bears the costs of the successful party – lump sum is reworded to winning party (SLO).
Legal Remedies Against Judgements of the Court of First Instance
An appeal ; the request for leave to appeal, review revocation, a revision, but no appeal (or very limited), an appeal which must be admitted by the Finance Court.
Court of the Legal Remedy
Appeal Court, High Administrative Court of Ukraine, Supreme Court of Ukraine ;
the Supreme Administrative Court (30% of tax cases) ;
Supreme Court, the Regional Tax Commission ; Supreme Court ;
Federal Finance Court (Bundesfinanzhof), Supreme Administrative Court ; the Slovak Supreme Court ; Cour Administrative, constitutional or administrative Court.
Statistics for year 2008
a) How many cases dealing with tax issues (income tax, corporate tax, capital gains tax, VAT and similar taxes) have been filed in your court during the last year for which the information is available ?
b) How many decisions in tax cases were rendered by your court during that period ?
c) What is your best approximation of the percentage of all cases dealt with by your court during that period that involved tax issues ?
UKR- Volyn started on the 25th of November 2008, during 2009 751 cases FIN – 900 cases and 1/3 of all are tax cases
H - /
I – regional Tax Commission exercise tax jurisdiction only
SLO – 480, 716, 15%
D – taxation court
LIT – 191 cases in Supreme Administrative Court – 10%
SVK – app 169 cases, 85 rendered, 32%
LUX – 15, 16, 4-5%
A – 11.051 cases, 9311 decisions, 100%.