Presumption of innocence for taxpayers

06 February 2023
Presumption of innocence for taxpayers
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Presumption of innocence for taxpayers 

Draft bill #8387 of January 27, 2023 

Cosponsors: a group of independent MPs, MPs from Servant of the People and Trust factions 

Who is affected: businesses, taxpayers, and tax authorities 

Summary of the bill: 

  • the bill grants additional rights to taxpayers: 
    • to be recognized as innocent of tax offenses until their guilt is proven 
    • to be protected from unjustified interference with their business activities by controlling bodies 
  • the bill provisions that officials from controlling bodies who conduct actual checks can interfere with business activities only in cases defined by law and are obliged to conduct the check in a way that rules out any unjustified interference with business activities 
  • the bill provisions that unjustified or disproportionate (to the goal of the check) interference with business activities is a tax offense and the affected party can demand compensation 
  • the bill provisions that if within 30 days tax authorities did not find any violations in online tax invoices or adjustment calculations, they are automatically registered in the Unified Register of Tax Invoices. 

Why this is important: in December 2022, a petition to recognize the right to the presumption of innocence for taxpayers got the necessary 25 thousand signatures. This was the result of a long advocacy campaign organized by Valentyn Krasnoporov, founder of the Last Capitalists initiative, and independent NGO CASE Ukraine. 

What is right: the bill fulfills the request to protect the rights of taxpayers. At the same time, the effectiveness of its enforcement will depend more on tax authorities rather than draft bills.