As part of the shutdown of data boxes at the end of 2022, the data box system was updated so that the generated proofs of delivery of documents delivered by administrative authorities are in accordance with last year's judgment of the Extended Chamber of the Supreme Administrative Court, Case No. 4 Afs 264/2018, which concerned the delivery of documents to a data box.
Delivery by data box
The basic rule states that a document is served at the moment when the authorised person logs into the data box. If the authorised person does not log into the data box within ten days of the date on which the document was delivered to the data box, the document shall be deemed to have been served on the last day of that period. In practice, this method of service is referred to as presumed delivery and has the same legal effects as service by logging into the data box by the authorised person.
The Tax Code, as well as other procedural rules, sets out the rules for calculating time constraints. One of these is the rule that if the last day of a period falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or public holiday, the last day of that period is the following working day. The question of whether that rule also applies to the ten-day period for the service of a document by the tax office in a data box was addressed by the Extended Chamber of the Supreme Administrative Court in the above-mentioned judgment.
Conclusion of the Supreme Administrative Court
The Extended Chamber of the Supreme Administrative Court concluded that if a document is delivered to a data box in the course of tax administration, the ten-day period must be calculated in accordance with the rule of the Tax Code, i.e. if the last day of the period falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, the last day of the period is the following working day. In other words, if the last day of the ten-day period for presumed delivery falls on a Saturday, the document is not presumed to be delivered until Monday.
In practice, this is a significant change that affects, for example, whether the tax administrator’s decision is delivered within the tax assessment deadline, which, on the other hand, is not postponed to the following working day. If the tax assessment decision was not communicated to the taxable entity until after the assessment period as a result of the postponement of the end of the presumed delivery period to the following working day, the tax administrator’s right to assess the tax would be extinguished. The tax assessment decision would therefore be unlawful.
Since the judgment of the Extended Chamber of the Supreme Administrative Court was implemented in the data box system more than half a year later, the previously generated proofs of delivery do not reflect the fact of whether the last day of the ten-day period for presumed delivery fell on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday or not.
For the sake of completeness, it may be added that if the message is delivered to the data box by the log-in of the person concerned on a Saturday, Sunday, or public holiday, then the document is delivered on that day and the postponement of delivery to the first working day does not apply.