The Tax Code of the Russian Federation guarantees the protection of taxpayers’ rights in court and the protection of their legitimate interests. That is, in case of infringement of rights and if there is a complaint from a person whose right has been violated, the court is obliged to open a case with the subsequent appointment of proceedings in accordance with the violation.
At the same time, the protection of taxpayers’ rights is ensured by the performance of relevant duties by officials of tax and other authorized bodies. Accordingly, improper performance or non-performance of a specific duty by an official entails a violation of the taxpayer’s right. In this case, you should immediately contact the designated authority for further consideration of this situation.
Ways to protect taxpayers’ rights in court
The protection of taxpayers’ rights presupposes the possibility of an interested person contacting the authorized state bodies to assess the legality of the actions performed or the inaction of the official in this case in relation to the taxpayer.
Thus, the main ways to protect the rights of taxpayers are:
The administrative procedure for protecting the rights of taxpayers implies an appeal by an individual interested in this to a higher state body in order to appeal an act issued by a tax authority. Also, the inaction of an official may violate rights if the taxpayer believes that his rights have been violated.
If the taxpayer’s rights are not infringed, the state body that protects them may reject the appeal. The judicial procedure involves the taxpayer’s direct appeal to the judicial authorities for the protection of their rights and legitimate interests.
Pre-trial procedure for resolving tax disputes
It is also important that for some types of tax disputes, mandatory compliance with the pre-trial procedure for resolving a tax dispute is provided. Tax legislation establishes mandatory compliance with the pre-trial dispute settlement procedure, the main aspect of which is the decision of this tax authority based on the results of an on-site or desk tax audit. This means that an interested person can protect the rights of taxpayers in court only after appealing the relevant decision to a higher tax authority.
So, the pre-trial procedure for appealing the decision of the tax authority based on the results of the audit involves filing an appeal or ordinary complaint. These types of complaints are not identical and should be distinguished from each other.
Their difference lies in the fact that an appeal can be filed against the decision of the tax authority to which the applicant applied, on bringing or refusing to bring to responsibility for committing a tax offense, issued as a result of a desk or on-site tax audit, which has not entered into force.
A complaint, in turn, is an appeal of a person to a tax authority, the subject of which is an appeal against the non-normative acts of the tax authority that have entered into force. To avoid embarrassing situations and misunderstandings, you should distinguish between them and be able to file both a complaint and an appeal. Thus, the first one is served as follows:
- You should write the surname, as well as your first name, patronymic; the real place of residence of the individual who files the complaint, or the address and name of the organization filing the complaint;
- It is necessary to write the appealed acts of the tax authority, which are of a non-normative nature, as well as actions or the absence of this (inaction) its officials;
- The following is the name of the tax authority, the act having a non-normative character, as well as the actions (inaction) of the officials of which are being appealed;
- It is necessary to write the reasons why an individual or legal entity believes that his rights have been infringed in some way;
- The requirements of the individual or legal entity that files the complaint.
And at the end: the way to get a response to the complaint. Thus, the answer can be received in writing, or electronically – in the taxpayer’s personal account on the website of the Federal Tax Service of Russia.
If we talk about an appeal, then it is filled out in a similar way, but during the filling it is necessary to be extremely careful, because the higher tax authority has the right to leave the appeal without consideration in whole or in part in the following cases:
- If the appeal is filed with violations: it is not signed by the applicant, the acts of committing an offense are not indicated, there is no personal data such as the name, surname and patronymic of the person filing the appeal.
- If, prior to the court’s decision on the appeal, the natural or legal person who filed the complaint decided to withdraw it.
- The last reason: if there was the same appeal before (with the same grounds).
Based on the results of consideration of a complaint or appeal, the tax authority of the highest instance:
- May leave the complaint (appeal) without satisfaction;
- May cancel the adopted act of the tax authority of a non-normative nature;
- May cancel the decision of the tax authority in full or in part;
- May make a new decision on the case;
- May recognize the actions (inaction) of tax officials as illegal and make a decision on the merits.
Protection of taxpayers’ rights in court
When the pre-trial dispute settlement procedure has not brought the desired results, the taxpayer has the right to apply to the judicial authorities. Such cases are considered in arbitration courts according to the same rules that are inherent in the general rules of legal proceedings provided for by the Arbitration Procedural Code of the Russian Federation.
Any person who believes that a disputed legal act, a decision taken or a decision not taken (inaction) has the right to apply to the court:
- does not comply with the letter of the law, violates regulatory legal acts and does not respect the rights and legitimate interests in the field of entrepreneurial, economic activity;
- unlawfully and with violations imposes duties on a person that this person does not accept and considers not legitimate;
- creates other obstacles to conducting business, economic activity.
It should be borne in mind that it is necessary to file a claim to the arbitration court within three months from the moment when the interested person became aware of the violation of his rights and legitimate interests. The decision on the results of consideration of the tax dispute in court is made within a period not exceeding three months from the date of receipt of the relevant application to the arbitration court.
If the protection of taxpayers’ rights in the court of first instance and the decision is not satisfied with the person who applied to the court for the protection of legitimate rights and interests, then he has the right to appeal such a decision to the court of appeal within a month.
Thus, the judicial settlement of tax disputes consists of the following stages•
- receipt by the applicant of the decision of the tax authority in the order of pre-trial settlement of the dispute;
- drafting a statement of claim;
- submission of an application to the arbitration court;
- getting a court decision in your hands.
It should be borne in mind that the statement of claim must be drawn up in strict accordance with the norms of arbitration procedural legislation. Special attention should be paid to the documents attached to the application. In addition to those documents on which the plaintiff bases his position, and all the necessary evidence, it is necessary to attach to the application those procedural documents, in the absence of which there is a risk of leaving the statement of claim without movement until the deficiencies are eliminated. Such documents, in particular, include:
- a document confirming payment of the state fee for consideration of the application in court;
- power of attorney or other document confirming the authority of the person to sign the statement of claim;
- copies of the certificate of state registration as a legal entity;
- extract from the unified state register of legal entities with information about the location of the plaintiff and the defendant;
- documents confirming the sending of copies of the statement of claim and documents attached to it to other persons participating in the case;
- documents confirming the applicant’s compliance with the claim procedure.
The arbitration court, considering the statement of claim on a tax dispute, in fact, re-examines the materials of the tax audit in conjunction with the arguments and evidence of the taxpayer. At the same time, the court’s conclusions may turn out to be directly opposite to the position of the tax authority, and this is logical, since different courts have different people with their own interpretations, so it should be expected that the decision of the arbitration court will not satisfy the individual who filed an application for violation of the taxpayer’s rights.
It seems that the settlement of a tax dispute in court is more effective, since participation in the judicial process is based on the principles of impartiality of the court and equality of the parties to the dispute, which certainly gives the taxpayer or other interested person a much better chance of restoring violated rights.