According to the Human Rights Defender’s position, the adoption of the Draft on making amendments to the Tax Code will limit fundamental rights of those seeking lawyer’s assistance. It will have a negative impact especially on people who are economically vulnerable, which is unacceptable, given the fundamental principal, that financial situation shall not be an obstacle for receiving a legal assistance service, as required.
It should be noted that, according to the Draft, the lawyers, among several other service providers, will be excluded from the framework of the turnover tax system and will be added in the framework of general taxation system. As a result, this amendment endangers the basic rights to fair trial and to receiving legal aid that are envisaged in the 2nd Chapter of RA Constitution and in a number of fundamental international documents.
Unhindered work of an advocate and accessibility of legal services has a crucial importance for the Human Rights Defender, since it is a primary guarantee for the exercise and protection of rights, freedoms and interests of those receiving legal aid. Being based dedicated to human rights, the advocate’s activities have public significance and cannot be considered purely from the perspective of entrepreneurship. Thus, first and foremost steps should be undertaken to ensure the accessibility of legal services.
Taking into account that the Draft refers to other services as well, such amendment will negatively impact on the improvement of business environment and promotion of entrepreneurship.
We are herewith presenting the Defender’s opinion on the draft Law "On Making Amendments and Additions to the RA Tax Code", that was sent to the Ministry of Finance.