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Maric & Co Successful for Swietelsky Baugesellschaft in Constitutional Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina

Maric & Co Successful for Swietelsky Baugesellschaft in Constitutional Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina
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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.

Maric & Co at a Glance

Maric & Co Law Firm stands on the shoulders of more than 70 years of experience and practice in the legal market of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Having in mind that it is difficult to find a small country with such a complicated political and legal system, we are fully aware that quality advice requires deep understanding of different areas of law. In a country where legislation is created on state, entity and cantonal levels, without proper harmonization, and where the same regulation can be applied differently by two different courts, only domestic lawyers who are well-versed in local regulations and court practices, and who are highly specialized in their practice area, may actually help their client.

With this understanding, today, the firm Maric and Co is the largest law office in the country dealing exclusively with business law. This means that we provide wide expertise in resolving all issues that domestic and international investors encounter when setting up and operating businesses in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The scope of the office allows each of our attorneys to highly specialize in their fields, whilst the size of our team ensures delivery of premium advice and seamless service. Our firm seeks long-term partnerships with clients with the aim of providing the best and most complete solution to the client's legal needs. We are proud to say that our clients do not leave us.

We apply the same principles to our international affairs, aware of the fact that no foreign lawyer can have the same understanding of legal regulations of a country as a domestic lawyer. Therefore, our philosophy is not to open branches in countries where our clients do business, but to closely connect with top tier lawyers in those countries. Our law firm is one of the founding members of SEE Legal – a group of ten leading national law firms from 12 South East European countries. This network enables us to provide the best advice and representation in these countries. Additionally, as a result of our strong relationship with the majority of global law firms, we are able to provide law services anywhere in the world.

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