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Friday, 24 February 2017 16:57

Taxpayers rights during the tax audit

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Taxpayers’ rights during the tax audit are stipulated both in the Tax Procedure Code and in the Chart of rights and obligations of taxpayers during the tax audit.
These rights are as follows:

1. The right to be notified of the tax audit

Before the tax audit starts, the taxpayer has the right to be notified in writing of the tax audit.
The tax audit notification is prepared by the team that performs the tax audit, approved by the service coordinator, and signed by the head of the tax audit department. This notification is drafted in 3 original counterparts, of which the first is transmitted to the taxpayer:

  • 30 days prior to the starting date of the tax audit, for large taxpayers;
  • 15 days prior to the starting date of the tax audit, for all taxpayers except large taxpayers.

The tax audit notification is transmitted to the taxpayer:

  • by courier, with acknowledgement of receipt;
  • directly, subject to signing and mentioning the date of the receipt on the second copy of the notification. The second copy of the notification will be attached to the tax audit report;
  • through advertising, being considered as transmitted within 15 days of publication.

The tax audit notification is transmitted at the beginning of the tax audit in cases where:

  • the tax audit covers a taxpayer for which the insolvency procedure has started;
  • following an announced inspection, the immediate commencement of the tax audit is required;
  • the tax audit is extended to any periods or tax debts other than those included in the initial tax audit notification;
  • the tax audit is repeated, due to an appeal decision;
  • there is a taxpayer’s request for which, based on the risk analysis, is it necessary to conduct the tax audit.

On the other hand, the tax audit notification is not mandatory in cases where:

  • the tax audit is unannounced;
  • the tax audit is conducted in order to solve certain requests of the taxpayer;
  • the tax audit is conducted upon authorities’ request.

2. The right to request the postponement of the tax audit

In situations where the tax audit notification has to be sent prior to the starting date of the tax audit, the taxpayer may request the postponement of the tax audit for justified reasons, only once.
Postponement is approved or rejected by means of a decision issued by the head of the tax audit department, which is communicated to the taxpayer. If the postponement request is approved, the decision will mention the date of the rescheduled tax audit.

3. The right to be presented, at the beginning of the tax audit, with inspection identification cards and the tax audit mandate, signed by the head of the tax audit department

The tax audit mandate is a document issued and used under the provisions of the Tax Procedure Code, through which the tax audit bodies are empowered to conduct the tax audit regarding the taxpayer.
The tax audit mandate must contain the following information:

  • Details about the persons who are conducting the tax audit;
  • Details about the taxpayer;
  • Start date of the tax audit;
  • Serial number of the inspection identification card;
  • Details about the head of the tax audit department.

4. The right to only be checked for tax claims within their limitation period

Taxpayers may be subject to tax audits only within the limitation period of the tax authorities’ right to determine tax claims.
By exception, if, between the end date of the tax audit and the end of the limitation period, additional information arises which was unknown to the tax authorities during the tax audit, the head of the tax audit department may decide to reconduct a tax audit for a certain period.

5. The right to only be checked once for each type of tax claim and for each period subject to taxation

The tax audit is performed only once for each tax or social security contribution and for each period subject to verification/taxation.

6. The right to be audited for a limited period of time, provided by law

The duration of the tax audit is determined by the tax authorities, and cannot exceed:

  • 180 days for large taxpayers and taxpayers that have secondary offices, regardless of their size;
  • 90 days for medium-sized taxpayers;
  • 45 days for other taxpayers.

In case the tax audit is not completed after a period of time that is twice the relevant period specified above, tax authorities are required to end the tax audit without issuing a tax audit report and a tax assessment or a decision to not modify the taxable amount.

7. The right to receive specialized assistance

During the tax audit, the taxpayer is entitled to receive specialized or legal assistance.

8. The right to have their activity affected as little as possible by the tax audit

According to the Tax Procedure Code, the tax audit is performed so as to affect as little as possible the current activity of the taxpayer, and to use efficiently any time indicated for conducting the tax audit.

9. The right to decide on having the tax audit outside the taxpayer’s working hours

The general rule is that the tax audit is conducted during the taxpayer’s working hours, but the audit may also be conducted outside such working hours, if the taxpayers give their written consent, and if the tax auditor approves the request.

10. The right to be informed

During the tax audit, the taxpayer has the right to be informed of tax authorities’ findings.
Also, after the tax audit ends, the taxpayer has the right to be informed of the audit findings and their tax-related consequences.

11. The right to be the first from whom information is requested

To determine the status quo, the tax authorities will first request the necessary information from the audited taxpayer or from any person authorized by the latter.
By exception, tax authorities may request information from other persons if, during the tax audit, the status quo is not clarified by the audited taxpayer.
The written request for information will be made whenever needed during a tax audit, and the questions will be formulated clearly and concisely in order to receive concrete answers.

12. The right to refuse to provide information

The spouse and relatives of the audited taxpayer may refuse to provide information.
Other persons that may refuse to provide information on data they become aware of while exercising their activities are: priests, lawyers, notaries, tax consultants, bailiffs, auditors, accountants, physicians, psychotherapists.

13. The right to be protected by tax secrecy

Public servants working for tax authorities, including people who no longer have this capacity, must maintain the secrecy of information they hold as a result of exercising their job duties.

14. The right to receive written evidence in case documents are withheld by the tax authorities

In order to protect the documents, tax authorities must prepare a protocol on retaining them; such documents have to be attached as originals if operations are suspected not to reflect reality, or when there are indications that the interested party would aim to destroy the documents.

15. The right to know the results of the tax audit

After concluding the tax audit, the tax authorities will communicate in a timely manner the day, time and place where their findings will be made available to the taxpayer.

16. The right to appeal against a tax decision issued after the tax audit

The appeal must be submitted in writing, within 30 days from the date the tax audit results are communicated, to the tax authorities that issued the tax decision.

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