BUSINESS

Ruling thwarts hopes of tax audit windfall

IOANNA MANDROU

TAGS: Justice, Taxation

Hundreds of thousands of tax audits of outstanding cases will be canceled following a decision on Tuesday of the Plenary Session of the Council of State.

According to the ruling, any audits conducted that stretch back beyond a five-year limit have been deemed unconstitutional.

The decision of the Supreme Court is also expected to affect cases involving people included on lists of large account holders abroad, like the so-called Lagarde List that includes Greek depositors with Swiss bank accounts. The list, which was given to Greek authorities in 2010 by then French finance minister Christine Lagarde, features 2,062 accounts linked to 1,725 individuals and businesses.

The ruling has come as a blow to the government, which had hoped to earn significant revenues from audits.

According to the court’s decision, the state’s audits must be conducted within a “reasonable” time frame. This, it said, is in view of the fact that the audits are now far easier to conduct than in the past.

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