Recidivism criterion: Supreme Court rules on tax offences

The Supreme Court ruled that claims cannot be considered abandoned if the administration has not formally ruled on them. Instead, the claim loses administrative finality upon the submission of the tax audit report pursuant to the art. 187.1.a LGT.

Ruling 1237/2022 on this matter is accessible in this hyperlink, as it considers that the choice of the date of initiation of the economic-administrative claim would dictate when the "will" of the Administration begins to compute its four-year term. This is because Art. 187.1 mandates the use of graduation criteria in only four years. The application of the four-year graduation criterion to a claim automatically invalidates the claim. 

This principle is established by the LGT, which converts into an advantage that which originally breaches the administration's duty. The administration cannot ignore that there is no formal resolution on the claim to extend the application of this criterion for four years. Moreover, they cannot use this additional time to try to restore this term once it is used.

A government's failure to comply with its legal obligation to remedy a problem within a given timeframe demonstrates a lack of good faith and accountability. This is detrimental to public confidence in the administration and should be avoided by ensuring that tax court rulings are not unduly delayed.

The court recognises that the administrative agency's failure to communicate is an invented legal fiction that serves to challenge its jurisdiction in a dispute. This is because the administrative body assumed that they were supposed to resolve party-initiated or default proceedings. Consequently, they have no duty to resolve these proceedings and errors are acceptable as long as they benefit the defaulting administration. This is because they undermine the institution of administrative silence, which is necessary to maintain the proper functioning of government.

Reformatio in peius

The reference to "reformatio in pejus" refers to the idea that the penalty should be reviewed in favour of the offender. This concept applies because if the taxpayer had not gone to the Catalonia Tear in 2005, and if the regional court had not ruled on his case within a year, the idea that his defiance was financially motivated would not have been considered aggravating, which results in a lesser penalty.

The finalisation of the administrative procedure for the imposition of a tax penalty should be considered as the last day of the process. Therefore, when finalising the decision, it is necessary to consider the date of issuance. As you can see, this affects citizens' rights and legal procedures. Consequently, finality cannot be the day on which the administration decides to issue an express decision on a claim.

 In contrast, finality must occur on the day on which administrative proceedings are completed and a tax penalty has been fully implemented. This is why the recidivism of Art. 187.1.a) LGT can be considered as a criterion for applying recidivism to a subsequent infringement after a tax penalty has been fully implemented and has ceased to be active. 

This is why fines imposed by administrative courts throughout Spain and paid through LGT cannot be considered as an obstacle to their application to subsequent infringements, as fines imposed by these courts can only be applicable to persons who have received previous convictions for administrative infringements.

Source: Legal News

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