November 29, 2021
On November 26, the X Tax Forum of the Ukrainian Bar Association took place, where representatives of business and government shared their views and opinions on important issues in the field of taxation. Traditionally, the most pressing and important issues for today were discussed at the forum. Among them: tax amnesty, principles and mechanisms of the newly created Bureau of Economic Security of Ukraine, taxation of the IT industry and gambling. Alexander Minin, Senior Partner at , spoke on the special topic “Fighting against ‘lawless law’: Turning to the basics”.
The title of Alexander’s report speaks for itself. After all, today quite often, especially in the field of tax administration, not only the application of laws creates problems, but also the content and essence of some laws raises questions about their legitimacy, balance and fairness. In other words, as Alexander noted, “it is not the law that is badly enforced, but simply the law is bad“. What to do when the law is really “bad”, one that is clearly beyond reasonable, proportionate, appropriate, and is illegitimate. Should one follow any whims of the legislator, which he establishes as a law?
For example, everyone knows about the fines for late registration of tax invoices, which can be 10 times higher than the fines for self-correction of errors when declaring and paying tax. A possible solution is to appeal to the Constitutional Court. The proceedings on the constitutional complaint of ANDRITZ Hydro GmbH representative office in Ukraine are currently pending before the Constitutional Court, so we are looking forward to the results. More examples from history and modernity, please find in Alexander’s presentation by the link.
Finally, Alexander reminded everyone that in the field of taxation taxpayers should perceive themselves not only as objects for which regulations are adopted, but also as “players” whose actions can influence what the regulations should be. To do this, the taxpayer does not necessarily have to be a formal participant in the legislative or regulatory process at the executive level. General criteria and assessment of proportionality, appropriateness, and fairness can be the compass showing whether we are not really confronted with the illegitimacy of the imposed regulation.