Publication details

Burden of Proof or the Principle of Cooperation in Granting Tax Relief? Commentary on the Judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court of the Republic of Poland of 14 September 2022, III FSK 538/22



Year of publication 2024
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Białostockie Studia Prawnicze (BSP)
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Law

Web Web vydavatele
Keywords burden of proof; principle of cooperation; tax relief
Description The purpose of this commentary on the judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) mentioned in the title is to present the relationship between the tax authority and the taxpayer seeking relief from a tax liability. The literature and court rulings, the most recent example of which is the SAC ruling under review, indicate that it is the taxpayer who bears the burden of proving that the prerequisites for granting tax relief are present, namely an important interest of the taxpayer or the public interest. The institution of the burden of proof, characteristic of civil proceedings, should not be transferred to tax proceedings, where it is the statutory duty of the tax authority to clarify all the circumstances of the case. This does not mean that the taxpayer should not point out to the tax authority all the circumstances supporting the granting of relief. However, this does not follow from the fact that the taxpayer, as the applicant, bears the burden (obligation) of proving the existence of the prerequisites. There are and should be no provisions in the Tax Code imposing such an obligation. The taxpayer should submit any evidence justifying the relief in compliance with the principle of cooperation between the taxpayer and the tax authority. This is one of the general principles of tax law found in the literature and court decisions and boils down to the fact that the taxpayer is obliged to cooperate with the authority in charge of the procedure for granting the tax relief requested by the taxpayer. This principle, like many other general principles of tax law, should be inscribed in the current Tax Code, as has long been advocated in the literature.

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