BRINEK: 6 YEARS OF WAITING FOR INHERITANCE TAX
A Carinthian appealed to the Ombudsman Board when the inheritance tax was determined only six years after her husband's death. The investigation proceedings revealed that the Tax Office Feldkirch failed to enquire after the status of the estate proceedings at the competent regional court although it had been informed of the death in autumn 2004.
Only in November 2009, that is six weeks short of the five-years-deadline of the statute of limitation, the tax office requested an inheritance tax declaration. The necessary documents were already provided by December 2009, nonetheless, the decision was only issued after six more months.
After having waited one and a half years for the determination of her income tax and having checked repeatedly but in vain with the competent tax office, the citizen appealed to the Ombudsman Board. The tax office, at first, pointed out that the complexity of the case had led to unusually long proceedings. When the Ombudsman Board searched the files a much simpler problem was revealed though: The competent officer at the Tax Office Klagenfurt had just failed to act, and the file was only checked after the official enquiry by the Ombudsman Board.
Time and again the Ombudsman Board points out to the authorities that they are obliged to make their decisions within a period of six months. Neither lack of personnel nor organisational or technical deficiencies are, thereby, acceptable excuses. In case proceedings are delayed out of comprehensible reasons the financial authority at least ought to inform the person concerned.