Pre-trial settlement of tax disputes

Mar, 30 2022


Pre-trial settlement of tax disputes is an alternative to judicial proceedings designed to eliminate violations of the rights of Russian taxpayers as soon as possible. We will tell you exactly how the process of appealing actions and/or acts of fiscal authorities takes place in our review.

The procedure of pre-trial settlement of tax disputes: whether it is mandatory, and what it is

A division specially created in the system of the Federal Tax Service of the Russian Federation, whose exclusive responsibility is the pre-trial resolution of tax disputes, is engaged in responding to violations, as well as auditing mistakes made.

The Tax Code of the Russian Federation provides two options for protecting the rights of individuals and organizations (Article 137):

  • appeal against actions and/or acts of tax authorities in court;
  • pre-trial resolution of disputes.

Important! Federal Law of the Russian Federation No. 153-FZ of July 2, 2013 defines that a taxpayer can appeal against the actions and/or acts of tax officials in court, only after his complaint has been considered by the tax authorities.

Pre-trial settlement of tax disputes for Russian tax payers has a number of advantages:

  • The procedure is absolutely free;
  • The complaint is considered as soon as possible;
  • Decisions are executed fairly quickly.

Pre-trial dispute settlement procedure: stages

The pre-trial procedure for the settlement of tax disputes can be divided into several stages:

  • sending a complaint by the applicant to the tax inspectorate, which is a party to the dispute;
  • redirection of an appeal from a lower tax office to a higher one within 3 days;
  • acceptance of the appeal by a higher authority for consideration or refusal to do so to the applicant;
  • notification of all parties involved about the time and date of the meeting;
  • the request by the tax authorities of additional materials that will help to consider the case on the merits, as well as the independent presentation by the taxpayer of additional documentary evidence of violation of his legal rights;
  • the very consideration of the complaint by the tax authorities and the adoption of an informed decision on it;
  • informing the applicant about the decision.

Important! The complaint is filed no later than one year from the moment when the individual or organization became aware of the violation of their legal rights and interests, and the appeal – before the entry into force of the act of the tax authority (within a calendar month, starting from the date of delivery of the resolution to the taxpayer).

Consideration of the complaint on the merits

Individuals and organizations who believe that their rights have been violated, make and send a complaint to the regional branch of the tax service (higher tax authority) through the local tax office, which is a party to the dispute.

If the act on bringing the taxpayer to responsibility has not yet entered into force, the applicant submits an appeal. In all other cases — a complaint.

The tax authority, whose actions and/or acts are disputed, is obliged to forward the document with all related materials to the higher regional office within 3 days after receipt of such an appeal. The final decision of the tax service must be sent to the applicant within the same period.

The application must specify:

  • The full name of the individual applicant and his place of residence (respectively, if the applicant is a legal entity, his name and location are indicated);
  • the act that is disputed or the essence of the action/inaction of the tax authorities;
  • name of the tax authority that is a party to the dispute;
  • the basis for filing a complaint — the essence of the claim;
  • applicant’s requirements;
  • the way in which the taxpayer wants to receive an answer to his appeal.

The Regional Tax Administration considers the appeal on its merits and makes a final decision on it no later than:

  • a calendar month, if it is an appeal against an act bringing the taxpayer to responsibility;
  • 15 working days in all other cases.

The Tax Code of the Russian Federation determines that the settlement of tax disputes ends with one of the possible options (Article 140):

  • The tax division refuses to satisfy the applicant’s claims by virtue of legislative norms;
  • tax authorities recognize the act and/or actions of officials as unlawful and subject to partial or complete cancellation.

If the taxpayer is not satisfied with the decision, he can file a claim with the court for further protection of his civil rights.

Questions and answers

How can taxpayers file a complaint with the Federal Tax Service?

The complaint is filed in writing on paper or in electronic form, signed by the applicant or his representative. A taxpayer can submit a document in person or by mail, as well as online on the official website of the Tax Service of the Russian Federation or using the portal of Public Services.

How will the taxpayer receive a response to the complaint from the Federal Tax Service?

Decisions on the complaint of individuals and organizations are sent by the tax authorities to the applicant in the same way that the appeal was received by them, namely:
– on paper by mail;
– in electronic form through the personal accounts of the portal of Public Services or the official website of the tax service.

How can the applicant find out about the progress of the complaint?

For more operational interaction of fiscal authorities with taxpayers, an online service “Learn about the complaint” has been created. With its help, the applicant, without leaving home, can find out the following information about his complaint:
– incoming number and date of receipt of the document to the tax authorities;
– the final deadline for consideration of the application;
– the current status of the document;
– information about the results of the review.

How can the applicant find out the result of consideration of the complaint?

The online service “Solutions to Complaints” was created by the tax authorities specifically to provide information on the results of consideration of taxpayers’ appeals. In the service, information is displayed in the form of decisions of the tax service in the context of categories of taxpayers, articles of the Tax Code, names of taxes, fees and payments, as well as topics of tax disputes.

Author of the article
Pre-trial settlement of tax disputes
Valentina Khlavich
Managing Partner
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