B Law & Tax
17 November 2023

Tax advisor: Evaluation and challenge by the TEAC to the solution provided by the TEAR in tax trials

The TEAC questions the ruling of the TEAR in a tax appeal, highlighting the taxpayer’s behavior and the need to prevent procedural abuses. Criteria are unified regarding the submission of untimely evidence. The disagreement revolves around tax instruction, emphasizing the importance of a comprehensive assessment.

TEAC Ruling on Administrative Appeal

In resolution number 8923/2022, dated October 30, 2023, the Central Economic-Administrative Tribunal (TEAC) has issued a ruling regarding an administrative appeal for the unification of criteria concerning the submission of evidence in the context of an administrative review.

Evaluation of the Behavior of the Taxpayer

In the specific case analyzed in the resolution, the taxpayer presents evidence during the economic-administrative procedure (before the TEAR) to support their request, even though it had been requested during the tax application process and was not presented at that time. The TEAR determines that the conduct of the interested party is not abusive or malicious and accepts the evidence. However, instead of evaluating them and deciding whether, on their own, they support the taxpayer’s claim or not (without the need for additional investigations), it chooses to transfer that responsibility to the body that had issued the challenged order of retroactive actions in the appeal for reconsideration.

 

Unified Criteria by the TEAC

In this context, the Central Economic-Administrative Tribunal (TEAC) conducts a review of jurisprudence and its own principles regarding the submission of documents and evidence ex novo in the review process. Subsequently, it addresses the central issue that gives rise to the appeal: determining whether it is appropriate or not to delegate the evaluation of new evidence to the body responsible for tax application through a retroactive action.

 

Challenge to the Solution Provided by the TEAR

In relation to this matter, the TEAC unifies criteria, firstly stating that “it is possible for the taxpayer to submit relevant evidence in the review process to support their request, even if they did not provide it despite being requested by the tax administration in the tax application process. This is valid even if the failure to submit such evidence is attributable to the taxpayer unless their behavior is considered abusive or malicious and is duly and justifiably documented in the file.” Consequently:

  • In a scenario where it is not proven that the taxpayer’s conduct has been abusive or malicious, the bodies of the AEAT (in the appeal for reconsideration, if applicable) and the economic-administrative tribunals must evaluate the evidence presented outside the established deadline.

  • On the contrary, when it is proven that the taxpayer’s conduct has been abusive or malicious, the bodies of the AEAT (in the appeal for reconsideration, if applicable) and the economic-administrative tribunals will not consider the evidence presented belatedly.

 

Furthermore, it specifies that, in the absence of procedural abuse and, therefore, allowing the evaluation of new evidence by the reviewing body, three situations may arise:

  1. If the assessment of the evidence presented completely proves the taxpayer’s claim, without the need for further investigations, the claim will be immediately accepted.
  2. If, upon evaluating the evidence presented and without requiring further investigations, the taxpayer’s claim is not completely proven, the claim will be directly rejected.
  3. If, upon evaluating the evidence presented, the taxpayer’s claim is not completely proven and further investigations are required, the claim will be directly rejected, as it is not the responsibility of the reviewing body to conduct such investigations.

 

TEAC Disagreement with TEAR’s Assessment in Tax Trials

The TEAC disagrees with the TEAR’s decision in a tax case, arguing that the proposed solution was not appropriate. Although the TEAR evaluated the evidence and determined its insufficiency, instead of rejecting the claim, it ordered a retroactive action to conduct further checks. The TEAC maintains that there was no incomplete instruction, as the tax administration had concluded the instruction by requesting the necessary evidence from the taxpayer. In summary, the TEAC disagrees with the retroactive action proposed by the TEAR, arguing that the tax administration acted in accordance with the requirements.

 

 

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