Tax information duty

Czech Republic: The information duty pursuant to Sec. 57 of the General Fiscal Code applies to almost everyone

Pursuant to Sec. 57 (1) (d) of the General Fiscal Code, all taxpayers are obliged to cooperate with the tax administration as requested by the latter – a duty that is nowhere specified or defined in the law, so that the finance office may e.g. demand the disclosure of information or documents which may serve as evidence in fiscal matters. The sole criterion which determines what information must be provided is the need for such information on the part of the tax administration. One will have to wait for case law to determine the content and scope of this information duty. In any case, the finance office may only take recourse to this right to demand information if the desired information cannot be obtained from official records. In other words, the information must primarily be requested from public authorities; only after this approach has failed may private entities be required to provide the necessary information.

At the same time, the tax administration must honor the fundamental principles of tax proceedings, i.e., it must protect the rights and legitimate interests of taxpayers and third parties; in enforcing the information duty, it may only use means which impose as little burden as possible on the affected persons.

Failure to comply with the information duty carries a fine of up to CZK 500,000, which the tax administration may impose if the non-compliance seriously impeded (or altogether frustrated) the tax administration (Sec. 247 (2) of the General Fiscal Code). The said fine for non-compliance is not meant to serve as punishment or deterrent, but rather as a tool for attaining the attended goal and for ensuring the prompt restoration of compliance. However, the amount of the fee is entirely at the discretion of the tax administration.

Source: General Fiscal Code (Act No. 280/2009 Coll.)


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