Maric & Co has successfully represented the interests of Swietelsky Baugesellschaft m.b.H in the Constitutional Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina in appellate proceedings regarding a tax dispute against the country's Office for Indirect Taxation.
According to Maric & Co, "the issue that many taxpayers faced was that when they were entitled to a tax refund from the OIT, instead of refunding the VAT, the OIT would order a full review of the taxpayer, and the taxpayer would not receive the refund for the entire time the review was being made, in addition to the time it would take to resolve any potential disputes. When the VAT refund was finally made, the OIT did not pay the interest for the period that the payment was delayed.”
In the Swietelsky Baugesellschaft case, Maric & Co reports, the Constitutional Court “on June 4, 2020, adopted a judgment which overturned the judgment of [court of lower instance] and established a ‘violation of [the] property rights of the appellant as protected by Article II/3.k of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 1 of the Protocol to the European Convention, the violation of which was committed by the rejection of the request of the appellant for payment of interest for delayed payment of VAT refund, by arbitrary application of the legislation, and therefore it cannot be concluded that the interference with the appellant’s property rights was ‘legal’ in accordance with Article 1 of the Protocol 1 to the European Convention.’”
As a result, Swietelsky Baugesellschaft was awarded over BAM 3 million in interest.
Maric & Co described the decision of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina as being "of historical significance for taxpayers in Bosnia and Herzegovina and ... a first step for changing the long-term injustice they were subjected to. This decision represents a turning point in the relationship of the Office for Indirect Taxation and taxpayers, [and] also of the Administrative Disputes Department of the Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina, which many times in the past accepted standpoints of the OIT as the supreme authority when it comes to tax issues."
The Maric & Co. team was led by Managing Partner Branko Maric.