Decision of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Macedonia

U.br.27/96 off 12.06.1996

Headnotes:

The Constitution guarantees the inviolability of the home. The right to the inviolability of the home may be restricted only by a court decision in case of detection or prevention of criminal offenses or protection of people's health.

The provisions of a statute which authorize the officer of public tax administration to enter into the rooms of the taxpayer against his will in order to make an inventory of the objects suitable for forced tax collection and which are assumed to be found in the rooms, actually provides for the unlawful entry into the home of a taxpayer.

The Constitution guarantees the right of ownership of property. No person may be deprived of his property or of the rights deriving from it, except in cases concerning the public interest which are determined by law.

The provision which allows forced tax collection not only from the taxpayer, but also from the adult members of his family who live together with the taxpayer at the moment when the tax obligation arises, is unconstitutional since it introduces restrictions or on the deprivation of another personís property only because of the fact of living together with the taxpayer.

Summary:

The case was initiated by a citizen challenging the constitutionality of two provisions of the Statute on Personal Incomeís Tax (Official Gazette, no. 80/93).

The first provision provided that if the taxpayer declined to open his rooms by him self to allow the officer of public tax administration to make an inventory of the objects suitable for forced tax collect, which are assumed to be found in the rooms, the officer is authorised to open the closed rooms and to enter against the will of the taxpayer.

The Constitutional Court found that this provision was not in accordance with the constitutional guarantee of the inviolability of the home, which may be restricted only by a court decision in cases of detection or prevention of criminal offences or the protection of peopleís health. The challenged provision provided for entering into the taxpayerís rooms against his will. Since the Statute did not specifically define the kinds of rooms into which the officer may enter against the will of the taxpayer, it could mean that the home of the taxpayer is also included, which would make this provision unconstitutional.

The other challenged provision provided for forced tax collection not only from the taxpayer, but also from the adult members of his family who lived together with the taxpayer at the moment when the tax obligation arose.

The right to ownership of property is guaranteed by the Constitution. No person may be deprived of his property or of the rights deriving from it, except in cases concerning the public interest which are determined by law. Considering that the challenged provision provided for forced tax collecting not only from the taxpayer, but also from the adult members of his family who lived together with the taxpayer at the moment when the tax obligation arose, the Court ruled that this provision expanded the constitutional framework, since it introduced a restriction on or a deprivation of another personís property rights only because of the fact of living together with the taxpayer.