The interpretation differentiating real estate tax rates depending on whether the garage belongs to the apartment or is separate is unconstitutional – the Constitutional Tribunal ruled today. This distinction has been in place for over a decade.
On Wednesday, the Constitutional Tribunal issued a judgment regarding the taxation of parking spaces in apartment blocks. The Constitutional Tribunal found that the interpretation differentiating real estate tax rates depending on whether the garage belongs to the apartment or is separate (separate land and mortgage register) is unconstitutional.
The Supreme Administrative Court’s resolution has been in force for over a decade
Such a distinction – as Business Insider Polska reminds – was introduced in February 2012 by the Supreme Administrative Court. In accordance with the resolution of the Supreme Administrative Court, a low tax was levied on spaces belonging to the apartment (max. PLN 1), and as much as 10 times higher tax on spaces in the garage, which was only legally separated.
Taxpayers who own a residential premises and a share in a commercial premises (a multi-car garage with the right to exclusive use of a designated parking space) filed a constitutional complaint, and the Constitutional Tribunal’s judgment was their last resort.
The Tribunal ruled that the provisions of the Act on local taxes and fees are, to a certain extent, inconsistent with constitutional principles. They are inconsistent to the extent “to the extent that they enable a separate garage located in a residential building to be recognized for the purposes of real estate tax as a ‘part of the building’ with a character other than residential.”
The current regulations will remain in force for one year
Importantly, the Constitutional Tribunal ruled that the provisions questioned today lose their binding force after December 31 next year. In practice, this means that the regulations will be interpreted in accordance with the resolutions of the Supreme Administrative Court for over a year. In this way, the Tribunal wants to protect municipalities that receive property tax revenues.
Prof. does not agree with the Constitutional Tribunal’s judgment. Rafał Dowgier from the Department of Financial Law at the University of Białystok. In his opinion, the interpretation made in the resolution of the Supreme Administrative Court was correct.
– The Constitutional Tribunal found that function was important. Meanwhile, the category of residential buildings is not a category of buildings that are used for residential purposes, but a category that has been classified in this way in the register of land and buildings. It is impossible to agree with the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal in which premises other than those classified as residential may be taxed at the rate applicable to flats – emphasizes Dowgier, quoted by Business Insider Polska.
The expert points out that the interpretation of the Constitutional Tribunal leads to the conclusion that regardless of the type of building or premises, if they are used for residential purposes, they should always be taxed at the residential rate, although such a premises or building does not have a residential character in the legal sense.
– This is an unacceptable interpretation, because for real estate tax purposes the nature of a building has never been determined by its actual use – says Dowgier. – Since a legally separated garage does not have the status of a residential premises, it should be taxed at the rate applicable to other buildings – he adds.
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