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Events > IFA Ukraine > ECHR Practice in Ukrainian Tax Disputes Discussed by IFA Ukraine

ECHR Practice in Ukrainian Tax Disputes Discussed by IFA Ukraine

25 february, 2015, Kyiv, Ukraine

The event was designed to answer the question on how the practice of the European Court of Human Rights ("ECHR") could be applied to the tax disputes in Ukraine. Tax litigation practitioners together with representatives of the High Administrative Court of Ukraine and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine discussed whether Ukrainian courts are following ECHR practice in their considerations.
The Seminar panel was joined by Roman Blazhko, Lavrynovych & Partners Law Firm,Viktoriia Fomenko, Dentons,Vladyslav Nasad, Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, Kyrylo Nominas, Sokolovskyi & Partners, Oleksandr Maydanyk, Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners, Arsen Miliutin, Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners, Oleksii Muravyov, High Administrative Court of Ukraine, Anton Polianychko, High Administrative Court of Ukraine, Denys Siiushov, KPMG, Roustam Vakhitov, International Tax Associates B.V., Serhii Verlanov, PwC Ukraine.
Arsen Miliutin and Oleksandr Maydanyk in their joint presentation titled "ECHR practice in tax disputes: positivism vs ius naturale" provided a full - fledged overview of the key disputable matters when it comes to implementation of ECHR practice in Ukrainian realities.
Kyrylo Nominas presented an overview of tax aspects of application of European Convention on Human Rights. In particular, Kyrylo pointed out to art.1of the Protocol 1 (Protection of property) and art. 6 of the Convention (Right to a fair trial), which are the key provisions referring to violation of Convention by the states in the taxation sphere.
Kyrylo also demonstrated using particular court cases application of art. 7 (No punishment without law), art. 8 (Right to respect for private and family life), art.  9 (Freedom of thought, conscience and religion), art. 11 (Freedom of assembly and association), art. 13 (Right to an effective remedy) and art. 14 (Prohibition of discrimination) in the disputes that referred to taxation issues and were considered by ECHR.
Viktoriia Fomenko gave a more detail overview of art. 6 of the Convetion (Right to a fair trial), focusing on application of this article (civil and criminal aspects) in the context of ECHR practice with regard to the tax disputes.
Denys Siiushov examined the topic of the grounds for a tax payer to file a complaint to ECHR. In his presentation Denys also covered the issue of reasonable cause in the court decisions, using the example of essential parts of the statement of reasons, as well as discussed the cases when ECHR is authorized to check the fulfillment of the requirements of the national law.
Roman Blazhko illustrated basic approaches of ECHR when it comes to the tax disputes, using the examples of the landmark cases, e.g. "Bulves" AD v. Bulgaria, Business Support Centre v. Bulgaria, Intersplav v. Ukraine.
Some elements of application of ECHR practice by the Dutch national courts were covered by Roustam Vakhitov.
Serhii Verlanov in his presentation focused on the issue of proving in the tax disputes, with reference to ECHR practice. In particular, Serhii investigated the issue of application of the concept of "listening to parties" and the concept of "reasonable prudence and diligence".
Seminar participants discussed the evidences of reasonable prudence and diligence, as well as agreed that a taxpayer should not be held liable if he showed reasonable prudence and diligence, and was not aware of abusive practice of his contractors.
Vladyslav Nasad, when sharing his personal experience in dealing with ECHR cases, noted that, in his view, art. 1 of the Protocol 1 of the Convention (Protection of property) may be considered as the most effective provision in the Convention when it comes to protection of interests in tax disputes.

Oleksii Muravyov and Anton Polianychko, when commenting the presented topics, outlined the general approach of Ukrainian judges to ECHR practice, as well as its implementation in the decisions of the national courts. 

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