UAE Federal SC’s unprecedented judgement: Extends time to challenge Tax Resolution Committee’s decisions

Sreya Kanugulo

UAE’s Federal Supreme Court gave an unprecedented judgment upon the provisions dealing with the notifications of the resolution committees on tax disputes.

The judgment, particularly, deals with the time limitations imposed upon making challenges in the Federal Primary Court, upon such decisions.

The judgment made was regarding the validation of an objection filed upon the decision made by one of the committees before the Primary Court around 4 months after it’s been issued, instead of the regular 20 weekdays.

This was done so since no proper notification on the decision was given to the aggrieved party who’d requested reconsideration.

Any time when a reconsideration upon the decisions taken by the resolution committees is required, the person’s application must be submitted to the FTA (Federal Tax Authority) within no more than 20 weekdays of the decision’s notification.

As per Tax Procedures Law’s Article 33(1), if the objecting party or the Federal Tax Authority remain unsatisfied with the resolution committee’s decision, they may bring it to the Federal Primary Court inside the 20 weekday period “….from the date of notification of the objector thereof.”

The reason why this particular judgment is considered unprecedented is that in December 2020, the Federal Supreme Court ordered that any tax dispute resolution committee’s decision must not set off the limitations on the time required to challenge it in front of the Primary Court.

Along with their decision’s notification to the parties concerned should be compliant with the Executive Regulations of Civil Procedures Law, Article 7. This is located in Book 1 of Law of Civil Procedures, which is titled under “Litigation before Courts.”

In general, the committees are administrative and heralded under a judge, not under the courts or any other judicial agencies. This is why SC’s application of the law of Civil Procedures gives much-required clarity on the whens and hows regarding decision notification under the committees and their validity, as to when they can be challenged.

With this judgment, the Federal SC overturned the previous judgments given by the Federal Primary and Appeals Courts in this case, since the time limitation placed regarding the challenging of the decision made by the committee was not set off, due to improper and noncompliant notification of the decision.