Abstract Background context: Although environmental, social and economic aspects are the "three pillars" commonly accepted throughout the literature in the field of sustainability, there are other enabling factors as the institutional dimension of sustainability which refers to the interaction between institutions and citizens in a sustainable way. It is linked to the broader theme of citizen participation in administrative procedures and, in the field of taxation, to the specific topic of the taxpayer involvement in tax procedures. Due to the European Union policies, based on the "indirect execution", Member States are free to fix rules in compliance with the National Law and ensuring a homogeneous interpretation and application of European Union Law. Therefore, legislation is fragmented, often legally non-binding, and, eventually, incomplete or absent. Nevertheless, with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the Charter of fundamental rights became legally binding for every Member State and, particularly, Article 41 which expressly states that ‘every person has the right to be heard before any individual measure which would affect him or her adversely is taken’. The principle is extremely relevant to increase tax compliance and trust in Tax Authorities and an important role in its building was played by the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. As a result, some Member States, like Italy, started to issue rules in order to acknowledge the European Union's boost facing the difficult challenge of getting on well their internal vision with that arising from the European Union's institutions. Research argument: Starting from the background context, the paper is focused on deepening the development of the right to be heard principle in tax procedures in the European Union context with a brief overview of the Italian tax procedural system, provided that the more Tax Authorities and legislator seek to achieve a sustainable tax system, the better they must support a right imposition allowing an easier interaction with taxpayers. Aim: The objective of the researcher is to clarify the importance of a dynamic interaction between the two parties of the tax obligation for taxpayers to settle up their duties, with the additional goals of increasing trust in Tax Authorities and, at least, of fighting against illegal tax avoidance and tax evasion. Methods: The method selected initially proposes a theoretical framework briefly describing the European Union policy in the area of administrative procedures and then, it extensively deepens the growth and the development of the right to be heard principle in tax procedures. Furthermore, through an essential in-depth analysis of the Italian solution the researcher tries to highlight the difficulties in applying a principle shareable by all the Member States while respecting their internal peculiarities. Findings: Clarifying the relevance of the right to be heard principle through its potential in encouraging compliant behaviors and enhancing confidence in Tax Authorities. Conclusions: Although with a limitation coming from the single case study, the paper may contribute to remark the importance of the investigated factors pointing out their role in enhancing cooperation and in preventing tax litigation. It may also be of interest for European policymakers interested in adopting similar measures to improve their tax systems, warning them to pay attention not to decrease the right to be heard principle consequently increasing the burden of taxpayers.

Right to be heard in tax procedures; how to build a more sustainable tax procedural environment.

ACCORDINO P.
Primo
Writing – Review & Editing
2020

Abstract

Abstract Background context: Although environmental, social and economic aspects are the "three pillars" commonly accepted throughout the literature in the field of sustainability, there are other enabling factors as the institutional dimension of sustainability which refers to the interaction between institutions and citizens in a sustainable way. It is linked to the broader theme of citizen participation in administrative procedures and, in the field of taxation, to the specific topic of the taxpayer involvement in tax procedures. Due to the European Union policies, based on the "indirect execution", Member States are free to fix rules in compliance with the National Law and ensuring a homogeneous interpretation and application of European Union Law. Therefore, legislation is fragmented, often legally non-binding, and, eventually, incomplete or absent. Nevertheless, with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the Charter of fundamental rights became legally binding for every Member State and, particularly, Article 41 which expressly states that ‘every person has the right to be heard before any individual measure which would affect him or her adversely is taken’. The principle is extremely relevant to increase tax compliance and trust in Tax Authorities and an important role in its building was played by the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. As a result, some Member States, like Italy, started to issue rules in order to acknowledge the European Union's boost facing the difficult challenge of getting on well their internal vision with that arising from the European Union's institutions. Research argument: Starting from the background context, the paper is focused on deepening the development of the right to be heard principle in tax procedures in the European Union context with a brief overview of the Italian tax procedural system, provided that the more Tax Authorities and legislator seek to achieve a sustainable tax system, the better they must support a right imposition allowing an easier interaction with taxpayers. Aim: The objective of the researcher is to clarify the importance of a dynamic interaction between the two parties of the tax obligation for taxpayers to settle up their duties, with the additional goals of increasing trust in Tax Authorities and, at least, of fighting against illegal tax avoidance and tax evasion. Methods: The method selected initially proposes a theoretical framework briefly describing the European Union policy in the area of administrative procedures and then, it extensively deepens the growth and the development of the right to be heard principle in tax procedures. Furthermore, through an essential in-depth analysis of the Italian solution the researcher tries to highlight the difficulties in applying a principle shareable by all the Member States while respecting their internal peculiarities. Findings: Clarifying the relevance of the right to be heard principle through its potential in encouraging compliant behaviors and enhancing confidence in Tax Authorities. Conclusions: Although with a limitation coming from the single case study, the paper may contribute to remark the importance of the investigated factors pointing out their role in enhancing cooperation and in preventing tax litigation. It may also be of interest for European policymakers interested in adopting similar measures to improve their tax systems, warning them to pay attention not to decrease the right to be heard principle consequently increasing the burden of taxpayers.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11570/3187522
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