Fiscontal The accounting as a source of resistance to the economic crisis SS Tap Arq Fisco

  Português ingles  


News archive

PDF Imprimir E-mail

The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the tax authorities can inspect the central server of a company to check the possible tax evasion. The fact that the server is shared with other companies computers and store e-mails from employees not prevent it from being seized by inspection. For the European judges, there is no violation of any fundamental right.

The trial was announced in March (3/14) and refers to a claim against Norway. In that country, a company was sued by the tax authorities and required and obliged to deliver a copy of everything that was stored on its server. There, the law authorizes the revenue to issue notify companies to deliver documents in order to collaborate with inspection procedures under penalty of administrative punishment.

The company contested the order, claiming that the server was rented and was not used exclusively by it. Two other companies stored their data on the same server, where there were also the emails of the companies’ employees. Given the information, the tax authorities notified the other two companies that they would also be audited, but it rescinded its pronouncement and kept only the inspection only to the first company.

The discussion ended up at the court and the Supreme Court of Norway corroborated the order. The judges considered that the fact that the server is shared by more than one company does not prevent it from being seized for audit in one of them. The court stated that in order for the inspection to be efficient, the Revenue could have access to all content from the server to find and separate what was related to tax liabilities of the company that was being audited.

The European Court of Human Rights upheld the view of the Norwegian Supreme Court. The judges ruled violation of any right under the European Convention on Human Rights. They noted that, in principle, the server seizure, in which there are copies of e-mails, is an interference with the right to secrecy of correspondence provided in the agreement. However, they understand that the law provides sufficient safeguards to prevent breaches of confidentiality.

The legislation provides for the obligation of the taxing authority to maintain confidentiality of the material consulted. Although the law authorizes auditors to scour the company server, it does not allow them to use all unrestricted found information. They can only use the documents strictly necessary for tax audit of the company and all copies made by the tax authorities must be destroyed once the audit is closed.

The European court considered the law of Norway fairly balances the privacy rights of the company and employees in the public interest to ensure the proper collection of taxes. The judges held the position of the Supreme Court that the server share does not preclude its seizure. They considered it was a company’s option to keep all the information together with the other two ones.

By Aline Pinheiro



Grupo Segeti - R. Doutor Olavo Egídio, 812 - Santana - São Paulo / SP - Telefone: (11) 2971-5500 | Design e Otimização por Barutti.com.br