The appeal board of the Supreme Economic Court accepted the appeal of the taxation committee of Maskouski Borough of Minsk. The taxation committee insists that acting within the TACIS program, the Helsinki Committee should have paid taxes.

2005 2005-05-19T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

This is the information provided by www.belngo.info. Last year the BHC won this case in court. The supreme court of Minsk and the appeal board of this court acknowledged the BHC activity to be absolutely legal. They also confirmed the legal competence of the international agreement, according to which parties taking part in TACIS programs do not have to pay taxes. The taxation committee filed an appeal with the Supreme Economic Court, the procurator's office of the city and the procurator's office of the Republic. However, the decision was upheld.
"The appeal now filed with the Supreme Economic Court is in no way different from the one initially filed by the taxation committee", said the press secretary of BHC Zmitsier Markusheuski. "The taxation committee does not give any new arguments or facts to back up its position".
The taxation organ believes that the international memorandum of cooperation signed by Belarus is not legally binding. Because the national legislation does not have provisions covering tax exemption for technical assistance programs. "In fact, the memorandum on cooperation is legally binding according to our laws, says Z.Markusheuski. According to the Constitution of Belarus, international agreements are legally binding".
As is known, there was a criminal case against the BHC chair Tatsiana Protska and the organization's accountant for non-payment of taxes, which damaged the state. After the BHC won the case in court, the investigation was suspended. However, the Helsinki Committee does not rule out that the new appeal may have unpredicted consequences.
"The appeal involves reviewing all of the case evidence, noted Z.Markusheuski. And an absolutely new decision in the case of taxation within the TACIS program may be taken. Also, what has to be taken into account is that a decision taken after this appeal cannot be repealed. And if it violates the international agreement, a new criminal action against the BHC leadership or employees can be brought.
As became known, the district taxation commission kept the appeal alive at the direct order of the Taxation Ministry.

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