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Albania: Tax appeal procedure in Albania

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Dorina Asllani Ndreka, Eurofast Global

Taxpayers in Albania have the right of appeal to: a tax assessment notice; decisions that affect the taxpayer's obligation on any claim for refund or tax relief; or to any special tax act connected with the taxpayer's activity. According to tax laws, the tax appeal is held in two legal dimensions, administrative and judicial, which constitute two separate links of the same legal process. Article 106 of Law no.9920, dated May 19 2008 ("On tax procedures"), provides the situation which constitutes grounds for appeal and the competent authority to whom the appeal must be filed initially. The appeal is submitted in writing to the Directorate of Tax Appeals, within 30 days from the date of the relevant administrative act.

Before filing the complaint, the taxpayer must meet certain legal requirements, such as the full payment of tax obligations. Without the appropriate payment, the appeal is not taken into consideration by the competent authorities. If the administrative act is not submitted to the tax authorities through the administrative procedure, this act cannot be subject to judicial review.

The obligation of prepayment excludes the fines or penalties imposed by tax authorities. The exemption from the payment of fines as part of tax obligation is also specified by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Albania, (decision no.16, dated July 25 2008), in which the court considers the obligation to prepay the fines by the business as a requirement that is contrary to the constitution.

The tax appeal demands the satisfaction of several legal requisites and, to ensure their fulfillment, the appeal authority must also act according to Article 143/3 of the Code of Administrative Procedures. According to this provision, in cases where the request is estimated to be incomplete, because it lacks the necessary data required by law, or lacks the accompanying documents, the administrative authority that examines the appeal has the legal obligation to assist the applicant in preparing all the documentation required by the relevant procedure.

The Directorate of Tax Appeals must conclude the review and take a decision within three months from the date the complaint is filed. In specific cases, the tax authorities may ask for additional documents. This can prorogue the deadline up to one month. The resolution of the directorate is no longer subject to administrative review, but if there is disagreement with it, the competent tax authority or the private entity (the taxpayer), can submit it for judicial review. The lawsuit is deposited before the competent territorial court, even in those cases where the directorate of tax appeals does not take a decision within three months from the date of receipt of the administrative appeal.

The right to submit claims or objections for an administrative tax act is a fundamental right. The administrative court, which will be functional until the end of 2013, will have a major impact in improving and accelerating the tax appeal judicial procedure.

Dorina Asllani Ndreka (dorina.asllani@eurofast.eu)

Eurofast Global, Tirana Office

Tel: +355 42 248 548

Website: www.eurofast.eu

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