BUSINESS

Confusion over old tax cases probe

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Taxation

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 on Wednesday 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.

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