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A woman will not pay tax on property not her own

Publication date: February 9, 2024

Thanks to a consultation with a lawyer from one of the member organizations of the Legal Development Network and the assistance of a public legal advisor from the Ukrainian Paralegal Association, a resident of Chernivtsi was able to stop the illegal collection of taxes on a property she had long since sold.  

In the fall of 2023, Lidiia* received a notice to pay real estate tax. However, the woman had sold the house for which the inspection demanded tax payment in 2014.

Lidia appealed to the tax office, but they said that the decision could only be appealed in court and that the city council had approved the amount of the tax.

The woman described her problem to Nataliia Horvasiuk, a paralegal at the Ukrainian Paralegal Association, to whom she sought advice. After assessing the situation, the paralegal contacted Mykhailo Bardyn, head of the Vinnytsia-based Podil Center for Human Rights, a lawyer, for cooperation**. He explained the algorithm of actions, what documents are essential for solving Lidiya’s problem and where to get them.

Nataliia Horvasiuk, a paralegal with the Ukrainian Paralegal Association.

– First, we contacted the Starostat (an institution created to ensure that the interests of all residents of villages in territorial communities are adequately represented) of the community where the sold house is located and found its new owners. Then we went to the State Real Estate Registry: we carried out certain procedures and entered the new owner’s data into the State Real Estate Registry according to the purchase and sale document, says Nataliia Horvasiuk

The paralegal adds that the client refused to appeal the tax authority’s decision, deciding that the legal process would require more resources than paying the accumulated tax. Therefore, Lidiia paid the tax herself and received information from a tax specialist that she would no longer be charged tax on the property she sold ten years ago. At the same time, in 2024, she will have to pay the tax for only six months of 2023.

The woman found such conditions acceptable and ended the story of wrongly accrued funds.

* Name has been changed for ethical reasons.

** The material was created within the Regional Coordinators’ Initiative framework. The Initiative is released with the support of the international charitable platform GlobalGiving and Legal Empowerment Fund (a program of the Fund for Global Human Rights) and the Legal Development Network. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the Legal Development Network and do not necessarily reflect the views of the previously mentioned organizations.

P. S. More relevant information on legal and humanitarian issues – is in the special section #StandWithUkraine. It accumulates materials that may be useful to those who suffer, whose rights are violated as a result of the war between russia and Ukraine.

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