New Regulations of Tax Liens Adopted in Violation of Procedure

26 December, 2011

We recently published a blog post about the new regulations concerning tax lien. We have since learned that the aforementioned amendments to the Georgian Tax Code and the law “On Enforcement Proceedings” were passed in violation of the general procedure for preparation and adoption of normative acts. The initial version of the draft amendments did not cover the aforementioned issues and the explanatory note (which, according to the law, must explain the rationale behind the amendments) did not provide an explanation for the new tax lien regulations. The explanatory note only mentioned that the draft law contained new regulations for lottery-related issues. Apparently, these amendments were deemed necessary after the Georgian State acquired a 70-percent share in Georgian Lottery Company.

Amendments to Article 239 of the Tax Code, which have prompted public controversy, were added to the draft law after the latter had passed the first hearing at parliament’s plenary session. Specifically,, the amendments were proposed by MP Zviad Kukava during the second hearing at the Committee of Sector Economy and Economic Policy.

Georgian law prohibits amendments (such as addition of articles, paragraphs or sub-paragraphs) unrelated to the subject of the proposed draft law during the second hearing. It is obvious that the subject of lotteries and entertainment has no connection with the tax lien regulations. For this reason, the amendments to Article 239 of the Tax Code must have been adopted through a separate legislative proposal. Furthermore, along with the amendments to the Tax Code, relevant changes must have been made to Article 823 of the law “on Enforcement Proceedings” and the two must have been presented in a single legislative package. However, the aforementioned change was registered in Parliament later, as a legislative proposal of MPs Zviad Kukava and Andro Alavidze.

For these reasons, the new regulations concerning tax lien were adopted in violation of the general procedure for preparation and adoption of normative acts, rendering the legitimacy of these amendments questionable.

Author: Transparency International Georgia