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Accelerated Dispute Resolution Procedure Facilitates Industry Growth
In the past year, an administrative dispute resolution procedure has been introduced in Greece which takes place before a special Committee of the Ministry of Finance, instead of the tax office. Until recently, in the absence of further Ministerial Guidelines, the new procedure had not been implemented in practice. However, following issuance of such guidelines, the hearing of the first applications for administrative dispute resolution has now been realised. This means that disputes of a value exceeding Euro 50,000 are now being heard. Taxand Greece investigates how this new procedure will remove barriers to business for multinationals.
According to the procedure in question, which has been incorporated in the provisions of the Income Tax Code (art. 70A of Law 2238/1994), a taxpayer has the right to apply for the administrative dispute resolution of any type of tax dispute, provided that:
- The dispute has arisen following a tax audit
- The disputed amount of tax, duties, special tax contributions or penalties exceeds Euro 50,000
In the case of disputes of a value exceeding Euro 300,000, application before the Committee is mandatory. Otherwise, the taxpayer is not entitled to file a judicial appeal with the competent administrative court. This is not the case with respect to disputes of a value ranging between Euro 50,001 and Euro 300,000, when recourse to the Committee is only optional.
Filing of applications before the Committee, as well as of appeals against the latter's decisions, is subject to specific deadlines and other procedural requirements. Moreover, the Code of Administrative Procedure has been amended, according to which the Administrative Court, convening in council without the presence of the litigants and without the case having been heard before a Court, now has the right to not only reject judicial appeals on the grounds of being manifestly unfounded and inadmissible (a right which the court had before the amendment was issued), but also to accept them on the grounds of being manifestly founded and admissible as well. According to the same procedure, in cases where a lack of jurisdiction is evident, the Court also has the right to refer the appeal to the competent administrative Court that has jurisdiction on the case.