Paying taxes could be a problem for some, especially when several debts are being paid off. The Constitutional Court recently granted a writ of amparo that could be useful for those who are looking for solutions regarding the proper management of their debts.
In its judgment 26674-2022, the Constitutional Court heard a writ of amparo filed by a person against the Municipality of Alajuela. The plaintiff had pending the payment of the tax on real estate owned by her and the payment of the garbage collection service. The plaintiff made a payment, but expressly requested that this payment be attributed to the payment of the real estate tax and not to the payment of garbage collection. The Municipality did not grant the petition. This was one of the reasons why the plaintiff took her case to the Constitutional Court alleging the violation of her constitutional rights.
The Constitutional Court granted, in part, the writ of amparo. In its ruling, the Court reminded the Municipality that by virtue of article 44 of the Code of Tax Rules and Procedures and article 9 of the Tax Procedure Regulations “[…] in the event of payment of a tax by a taxpayer, in this case, it is the payment of the real estate tax by the plaintiff, it must be imputed by the Administration, according to what is indicated by the taxpayer. That is to say, in this case, since the plaintiff had indicated that the payment be attributed to the payment of the real estate tax, this should have been credited to such tax and not to the oldest debt. Note that the foregoing applies only in the event that the taxpayer does not make the payment allocation, which in this case did occur.»
This means that those people who are in a similar situation could challenge the Municipality’s decision before the Constitutional Court.
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M.Sc. Ana Isabel Sibaja Rojas
CELIG – Center for Equal Litigation