BUSINESS

Tax probe digs to be capped at five years

EVA KARAMANOLI

TAGS: Taxation

Hundreds of thousands 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 high-profile 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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