Mokesčių konstitucinė doktrina: kai kurios reformavimosi problemos
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The article reveals the constitutional doctrine of taxes as developed in the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court and deals with problematic aspects of this doctrine. It is investigated how the Constitutional Court interprets the content of the provisions of Article 127(3) of the Constitution “taxes, other payments to the budgets, and levies shall be established by the laws.” It is revealed that the concept of this constitutional provision gradually undergoes changes in the Constitutional Court rulings and the Constitutional Court corrects the constitutional doctrine of taxes formulated in its previous rulings. The author presents a detailed analysis of the arguments presented in the Constitutional Court rulings upon which the Court grounded the incompliance or compliance of provisions of laws and Government resolutions with the Constitution and gives a critical assessment of some Constitutional Court rulings in tax cases. The Constitutional Court ruling of 15 March 1996 points out that while deciding whether the provisions of laws whereby the Seimas grants the powers to the Government to establish the rates (tariffs) of corresponding taxes are not in conflict with the Constitution, one has to distinguish between taxes in their proper sense from those payments to the budget which, although referred to as taxes, are not taxes in their proper sense. The Constitutional Court held that these taxes. which in their essence are levies (their nature is that of direct recompense), are not taxes in their proper sense. Therefore, the Seimas, after it has established such taxes (levies), enjoys, under the Constitution, the powers to commission the Government to establish the tariffs of such taxes (levies). The Constitutional Court, after it had formulated this rule, did not refer to any particular article of the Constitution, from which precisely this rule could be derived either directly or indirectly, nor did it reveal the relation of this rule with the provision “taxes, other payments to the budgets, and levies shall be established by the laws of the Republic of Lithuania” of Article 127(3) of the Constitution. We can see from the Constitutional Court rulings adopted in subsequent cases on taxes that this rule was not further developed in its jurisprudence. On the contrary, while forming the constitutional doctrine of taxes, the Constitutional Court has corrected this rule rather substantially.
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