When the tax authorities make a mistake, they must pay compensation

It seems absurd but true that the tax authorities are also liable for damages, if they undertake a completely incorrect and completely unfounded tax assessment. In particular, it may happen that when the taxpayer is invited by the tax authorities to provide clarifications, he points out to him what obvious error he has made. On that occasion, moreover, it acknowledges, also with documents and jurisprudential supports, of what is claimed. The official, for his part, however, claims that his hands are tied and that, therefore, he is obliged to proceed, but that it will be possible, in any case, to contest the assessment before the judge.

In the face of this, one feels unfairly victims of abuse, considering that the Revenue Agency is operating, in the full awareness of doing us harm.

Damage, which consists in forcing us to bring a lawsuit, pay court costs and a lawyer. Therefore, at this point, we ask ourselves: “when the tax authorities make a mistake, must they compensate for the damage?”. Preliminarily, it should be specified that if you only intend to obtain the annulment of the illegitimate claim, it is sufficient to contact the judge. Otherwise one must act, however, if one also wants to bring justice to the official who has not applied the law. That is, against the one who, for his negligence, has exposed us to economic and moral prejudices. In this case, it will be necessary to activate another judgment against the official, demonstrating how he acted with willful misconduct or gross negligence. In this case, however, it is also possible to obtain further compensation, with respect to that due together with the cancellation of the illegitimate assessment. Let’s see how.

Cancellation in self-protection

First of all, in the face of the illegitimate assessment, the first and simplest remedy is that of self-protection. It is a simple application that can be sent by registered letter or certified e-mail to the Revenue Agency. In it, the entity itself will be asked to rectify its act. Furthermore, this application can also be proposed without the need for a lawyer.

The important thing is that you clearly indicate the error in which the office has fallen and the rules that it is believed to have violated. The same, then, can be presented at any time, even if the terms for appealing to the judge have expired. To give strength to this protection tool, the Supreme Court has often intervened, arguing that the Agency is required to cancel its errors in self-protection. This, even if no appeal has been filed with the Tax Commission. All this, by virtue of the duty of collaboration with the taxpayer, as well as of impartiality and good administration performance. However, this tool may also fail.

Appeal to the Judge

In the event of an appeal to the Judge, if the taxpayer is right in the dispute, the administration will be ordered to reimburse the costs of the trial. Therefore, it is clear that, when the tax authorities are wrong, they must compensate the damage. However, often, the sums paid by the Tax Commissions do not actually cover the expenses that were necessary to defend themselves. Remember, however, that it is also possible to request and obtain a sentence for reckless litigation, which entails the obligation for the tax authorities to pay an additional sum.

The complaint to the Prosecutor of the Court of Auditors

The last instrument of protection that can be activated against the Tax Authority that is obviously wrong is the request for deferral of the documents to the Prosecutor of the Court of Auditors. This is certainly the most drastic remedy that the taxpayer can try to assert a manifestly illegitimate behavior towards himself. In this case, the tax damage caused by the official’s behavior is asserted. In particular, this instrument serves precisely to punish an official who, with willful misconduct or gross negligence, has insisted on an illegitimate tax claim. All this, causing damage to the administration and above all to the taxpayer. He will be liable for this behavior before the accounting magistracy for tax liability. In this case, the compensation due to the taxpayer will consist in the reimbursement of the legal costs and in the compensation of the damage.

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