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Germany: BFH rejects complaint against Tax Court for failure to respond to information request

The Federal Fiscal Court ('BFH') published, on 25 June 2020, its decision rejecting a complaint made against the Finanzgericht Baden-Württemberg ('the Tax Court') regarding failure to respond to a request for information. In particular, the BFH outlined that the plaintiff registered for turnover tax ('Umsatzsteuer') purposes at a Tax Office ('FA') and, in 2014, the Tax Court initiated tax criminal proceedings against the plaintiff. Following this, criminal investigations were also completed by the FA and the results published in a tax investigation report, which alleged that the plaintiff and his brother had used arguments based on the 'Reich Citizens Scene' in their legal proceedings. As a result, the plaintiff requested to know under Article 15 of the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU 2016/679) ('GDPR') what information was behind this allegation. 

However, the FA rejected this request for information under Article 2(2)(d) of the GDPR, which stipulates that the GDPR does not apply to personal data processed by competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection, or prosecution of criminal offences, or the execution of criminal penalties. Moreover, the plaintiff began a legal procedure in an administrative court requesting that the FA be obliged to provide information on the documents intended to prove the report's allegation. However, the BFH rejected the complaint as the requests were made under data protection law against the FA in connection with tax investigation and, therefore, can have no basis in the GDPR. 

You can access the decision, only available in German, here.