The Decree-Law number 81/2018, published on October 15th, creates and defines teams of judicial magistrates to recover pending administrative and tax processes.
The creation of this Decree was driven by the statistical results shared by the General Direction of the Justice Policy that reflected a large number of pending processes at the end of the year 2016. These results attest the increase of disputes registered in administrative and tax jurisdiction and, therefore, an increase of the court’s response time.
In our point of view, the biggest innovation is the ancillary measures with extraordinary character. For instance, now it is possible to withdraw the request of pending administrative and tax processes with a waiver of payment of procedural costs until December 31st, 2019. On the other hand, taxable persons may refer to arbitration courts, with remission of procedural costs, the claims which result in a judicial challenge and still pending in the first instance of decision in tax courts, provided that those had been received until December 31st, 2016. In other words, it is now possible to carry forward a judicial process to the arbitration court, without any costs penalty.
It is underscored the obligation for the Tax Authority to revoke or revise all tax and administrative acts which are object in a pending case, when occurs or have occurred any administrative understanding amendment favourable to the taxable person, and when jurisprudence have been repeatedly issued about the subject-object of the process favourable to the taxable person, as well.
The pending recovery teams incorporated are ruled by the national experiences already achieved by similar teams, by significant international practices of judiciary management, as well as by the jurisdiction scientific report. Three essential foundations are established, which are:
(i) Creation of a team for each geographical area which must present the results to the Higher Council of the Administrative and Fiscal Courts, so that there is a constant supervision;
(ii) Setting, at starting, of general objectives for each team just as for each judge who integrates that, and being these objectives imposed by the Higher Council of the Administrative and Fiscal Courts, after a president judge proposal of each geographical area; and, at last,
(iii) The time limit of two years, with a possibility of only an extension of the same period, in case of a Higher Council of the Administrative and Fiscal Courts resolution.