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On air on Rustavi 2, the Parliamentary Majority MP, Zviad Dzidziguri, talked about a favourable business environment created in Georgia after the government change. He stated: "During the office of the previous government, businesses used to lose 100% of the disputes in the Council of Tax Appeals. According to the data of the past two years, 44% of the disputes were won by the businesses, 40% by the state and 16% have been finished with a settlement procedure."

FactCheck

took interest in the accuracy of this statement.

The Council of Tax Appeals

is a tax dispute resolution body under the Ministry of Finance of Georgia. The Minister of Finance of Georgia is the Chairman of the Council whilst its members represent the executive branch of the government and non-governmental organisations.

According to the Tax Code of Georgia, the Council of Tax Appeals bases its considerations upon the principles of justice, impartiality and equality of the parties. Tax disputes contain two stages and start by the presentation of the appeal to the Revenue Service of Georgia. Should the decision of the Revenue Service be unacceptable to the appealer, the individual can make an appeal at the Council of Tax Appeals. In addition, the appealer has the right to address the court system at any stage of the dispute.

Both individuals and legal entities can make an appeal at the Council of Tax Appeals. The chart below depicts the statistics of the appeals made at the Council from 2009 to 2014.[1]

Chart 1:

 Number of Appeals by Year (%)

image001

According to the data, from 2009 to 2012, the highest number of appeals that were not granted was registered in 2009 (57%) whilst the lowest was observed in 2011 (19%).

As for 2013 and 2014, a total of 51% of the disputes were resolved in favour of the appealer and 30% in favour of the state in 2013. About 1,062 (42%) of business appeals were granted or partially granted in 2014 and 1,052 (41%) appealers were denied whilst 436 (17%) of the appeals were not considered (due to various procedural demands from the appealers or the termination of the dispute).

FactCheck wrote

about the disputes between the state and the businesses earlier as well.

Conclusion

The statistics show that more disputes were resolved in favour of individuals than the state in 2014. The same situation persisted in 2012 and 2011. A large part of the appeals were not granted in 2009 and 2010; however, businesses have never lost 100% of the cases.

FactCheck concludes that Zviad Dzidziguri’s statement is MOSTLY FALSE.


[1]

Author’s remark: The 2014 statistics became available only in April 2015. Because of this, the publication of the article was delayed. In addition, no similar data are available for the years before 2009.


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