Tax Litigation

Our firm provides specialised counsel in the field of tax disputes.

Appeal Proceedings
Tax Recovery
High Court
European Courts of Justice

Why you should choose a tax lawyer for tax litigation

Tax Litigation is a very delicate activity and it cannot in any way be improvised. A generalist lawyer or a chartered accountant will hardly be able to provide outstanding professional services in tax litigation. This is due to the obvious consideration that the expert who is specialised in tax litigation (tax lawyer) must have rigorous legal training in tax, alongside proven experience of the procedures contained within the tax procedural code (in the civil law system).

In essence, a reliable expert in this delicate matter must have thorough knowledge of the tax rules and the tax civil code (in addition to tax inspection, assessment and collection procedures). Through this mixture of knowledge, the expert will be able to expose the defence’s substantive reasons to the judges, hence avoiding procedural oversights that could jeopardise the client’s interests and result.
Knowing taxes as a whole and applying them to tax litigation does not just mean knowing the specific Office’s rules or the rule that will make it less applicable, but instead means possessing the systematic approach that guides the judge to understand the ratio of tax laws. Often, Tax Offices apply tax rules in a simplistic way so as to generate revenue, which in most cases contrasts the applied principles of taxes. The judge must be in a position to understand what the inspiring principles of taxation are and, to do so, he/she must have a reliable, professional representative who is extremely clear at explaining the regulatory processes that govern impositions, the assessment and collection of taxes. The judge must also be placed in a position to easily understand, from the documentation submitted at the onset, which errors were committed by the tax office and why, contrarily, the taxpayer’s conduct ought to be considered legitimate (obviously assuming that errors and the legitimacy do exist).

Appeal in tax litigation

To appeal against the first and second level judgements with a high probability of success, an assessment, a challenge proceeding, a tax collection act, a mortgage registration, etc., the expert must implement all his knowledge and experience and he must carry it out via the rigorous examination of the documents resulting from the tax inspection and the assessment. This strict process of examination must be conducted, alongside the client, by teams specialised in different taxes, led by a playmaker with extensive experience in the subject. Defensive strategies must be tested and supported by extensive evidentiary material, whose collection is decisive in the formation of the judges’ decision. In fact, it is not enough to be right from a legal perspective, as this reason must be declared by a judge’s verdict, which is normally based on the evidentiary material presented in a trial. The documents’ examination, in addition to being strict, must be quick and effective, as the expert must carry out all the defences in the first defensive act, being prohibited by the tax rite code to integrate them subsequently, both at first instance and in the degree of appeal. It follows that it is extremely important that a highly qualified expert helps the company from the first steps, lest disputes relating to the inadmissibility of new reasons are carried out by the Offices in the degrees of merit, or by the State Attorney in the High Court trial.

Tax Claim in the Supreme Court

Just as it is very important that the expert who represents the company, from the levels of merit, is the same one who will have to attend the High Court trial and is therefore skilled at this. Moreover, in this case it will not be possible to refer to general-interest lawyers, even those experts in High Court trial, as they lack the necessary skills and experience in such a delicate field. The tax claim in the High Court is, in fact, a proceeding that should be drafted by a highly skilled professional, as also shown by the fact that the sections of the Court that deal with its process are specialised in tax law. The lawyer who helps the client in tax High Court trials, in addition to having a general experience of this type of trial, can avoid errors that would determine the inadmissibility of said level of appeal, for example in the area of self-sufficiency of the appeals or in the area of correctly identifying a fault pursuant to procedural code. The lawyer should know and enhance daily the legal guidelines dictated by the Tax Section’s rulings of the Supreme Court. This is in order to be able to grasp, in the often-unstable law of the Court, elements that can support the finding of faults in the contested sentence or the groundlessness of tax claims.

The Giontella Office: the right choice to win in tax litigation

If what has been written so far applies in very general terms and may seem to be quite obvious to experts in charge, the experience of our firm enables us to carry out the following additional observations. Tax litigation is not just any litigation, because the legislator has not implemented the principle of equality of the procedural parties, with the consequence that the taxpayer is always in a disadvantaged initial position compared to the Financial Administration. This is the reason why the expert in charge of assisting in the process must present various and numerous reasons for the illegitimacy of the tax document to the judges (obviously where faults exist), in order to induce a healthy and convinced decision from the judge. These reasons must be derived from the principles that regulate all procedural and taxation matters, with particular attention to the supranational laws that increasingly influences the correct application of taxes, both by the taxpayer and by the Tax Offices. Supranational principles that prevail over the regulations of individual states if taxes are harmonised, supranational principles that impose conflicting procedural measures, supranational principles that preside over the correct application of taxes on the basis of agreements between states etc. Only in-depth knowledge of the principles of worldwide taxation, combined with the systematic knowledge of the tax, lawsuit and entire judicial systems, can enable the taxpayer to mount a defence at the highest levels. But that’s not enough. It is not enough because such knowledge could be the result of academic preparation, or of the specific simple and basic study of the case in question, or of the hasty hypothesis of previous similar experiences on the same addressed issues. Indeed, such knowledge acquired may not prove to be sufficient enough to achieve excellence in performance. Not proving sufficient, as the defence could be excessively academic and above all lacking in important requirements.

Such a requirement is the idea, an idea not only the result of preparation and knowledge; instead an idea as the “invention” of a procedural strategy which is effective in its uniqueness; an idea as a logical-syllogistic connection of the various issues to be addressed; an idea that is the expert’s decision – hence not the judge’s – on the evident validity of his own reasons, which is all the more evident as it is more creative and ultimately bringing results of the part of the taxpayer. A genuine tax litigation specialist will transform his act into a creation, a work of art, whose individual elements bind to each other in a logical process that must touch the judge’s heart, enabling him to know the facts by heart and, thus, guiding him through a clear and simple solution to the dispute, which is fully convincing and has no residual doubts of the taxpayer’s reasoning. To achieve this goal, great professional awareness and experience is required, but this is not enough either as excellence does not equate to perfection – the latter was simply intended as the maximum obtainable result. Achieving perfection requires an essence of sacrifice, self-sacrifice, teamwork and daily experience, with the problems to be addressed up to the complete drafting of the procedural document through uniqueness. Only through uniqueness can a tax dispute be won, being inspired daily, even outside the boundaries of your own firm with any element useful for the solution of the dispute, not just legally, related to previous law, administrative practice and doctrine, but also by applying general knowledge and/or common sense to the situation. Feeding on current affairs, philosophy, sociology, history and production that is not only regulatory in all fields of law. All this knowledge would be applied with one purpose in mind, to facilitate and make the judge’s task easier and more satisfying. Only the entirety of the above can generate the best defence, since if one of the described branches fails, the final product may not be perfect as described above.

What we can guarantee in the tax litigation field.

The characteristic that our Firm has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate in assisting and representing its clients, is the combination of all the elements mentioned above, used with over thirty years of successful experience in tax litigation, in over a thousand cases handled.
We can certainly say that our Firm has been a forerunner of innovative jurisprudential interpretations such as, for example, those concerning the right to deduct VAT which does not depend on all the formalities required by law, that of the refund of excise duty on oil for contrast with EU case law, that on the annulment of transfer price assessment for illegitimate use of tax office methodologies, etc.. We certainly cannot guarantee success before the Court, but we can be proud to say any case handled by our Firm, is dealt with by maniacal application of the working methods described above and this is the result of great satisfaction of all professionals involved and, of course, of our clients.
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