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10 february 2015

Upholding the interests of Megapolis group companies in tax disputes over their right to refunds of the tax amounts overpaid through the fault of tax agents

Jus Aureum has successfully defended the interests of companies in the Megapolis group, Russia's largest seller of tobacco products under exclusive contracts with JTI, Philip Morris International (PMI), and Imperial Tobacco Group, in disputes over their right as taxpayers to receive refunds after making overpayments as a result of their tax agents' acts.

The litigation (Case No. VAS-7764/13) resulted in the Supreme Arbitrazh (Commercial) Court of the Russian Federation taking a stand to allow new opportunities in Russian enforcement practice by allowing taxpayers to themselves choose the remedy to reinstate their injured rights under the circumstances, i.e. to apply to a tax authority for a refund or to reclaim the tax surplus by suing the tax agent as the debtor having defaulted under the respective civil-law obligation.

The law firm's Senior Partner, Vadim Maklakov, who participated in the hearing of the dispute by the Presidium of the Supreme Arbitrazh Court, succeeded in persuading the justices to overturn the acts delivered by the lower judicial panels and to send the case for retrial.

The court of first instance, however, found in favor of the tax inspectorate also during the new proceedings. But the appellate authority and the cassation panel opted to go along with the arguments raised by Jus Aureum and to set aside the trial court's judgment upon finding it to be in disregard of the relevant conclusions drawn by the Supreme Arbitrazh Court of the Russian Federation.

The Jus Aureum's team was led by senior partner Vadim Maklakov also included Tatiana Vladimirova, a partner, and Nikita Shcherbakov, a senior lawyer.