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In appeal proceedings in tax matters, being right does not always mean being proven right

Quelle: AMATIN AG 2021

Although the objection procedure in tax matters is in writing, it is still largely informal. The likelihood of success is limited, however, because the same authority that originally issued the ruling makes the decision. If the desired change in the tax calculation is not achieved, it must be examined whether an appeal should be filed with the next higher authority. As a rule, this is the first independent instance. The procedure follows rules that are most familiar to a lawyer experienced in litigation. It is also important to assess the chances of litigation in advance.

The appeal must be filed in due time (usually within 30 days) with the competent court and must also be substantiated within this period. In this procedure, all evidence – including new evidence – can be presented once again. The court examines both the facts of the case and their fiscal consequences on the basis of its own findings, i.e. ex officio. Nevertheless: To be right does not mean to get right! Therefore, the notice of appeal and the enclosures are of great importance.

The language is the most important instrument in administrative court proceedings. It is important to describe the facts of the case to the appeal authority or the court in a transparent and understandable manner. With skill, something can already be incorporated here for one’s own concern. Special attention must be paid to the requirements of proof. The following applies: Tax-reducing facts must be proven by the appellant. Tax justifying or tax increasing facts, on the other hand, must be proven by the tax authority. The legal questions are to be discussed among experts as far as reasonable. Here, too, the lawyer experienced in administrative court proceedings is in the best position to convince the court.

The appeal proceedings in tax matters are subject to costs. However, the costs are borne by the tax authority and the lawyer’s fees can be at least partially reimbursed if the appeal authority or the court is convinced and the claim is successful.

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Michael AngehrnAttorney at Law, Partner

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