Individuals affected by final acts or resolutions issued by federal tax authorities, such as, for example, determining a tax credit, denying a tax refund or resolving administrative appeals, among others, have at their disposal the administrative contentious trial or nullity trial, which is a jurisdictional means of defense filed before the Federal Court of Administrative Justice (TFJA, as per its initials in Spanish).

Unlike the appeal for revocation, it will no longer be the authority that issued the act itself that will review and resolve on the validity or nullity of such act. In the administrative contentious trial, it is the Federal Court of Administrative Justice, which will impartially resolve the controversies between the individual and the tax authority.

The plaintiff may file the claim and the documents attached thereto in the traditional way, in writing, before the competent regional chamber of the Federal Court of Administrative Justice or online through the Online Justice System, indicating the means chosen, which may not be changed during the proceeding.

Once the complaint is admitted, it will be sent to the respondent, who must file the response together with the attached documents within the term established by the Federal Law of Administrative Contentious Procedure.

The complaint may be extended in the cases and within the terms established by law. The respondent shall file an extension to the answer to the complaint. Both the extension to the complaint and the extension to the answer to the complaint will be accompanied by documents, such as evidence or questionnaires to experts, among others.

Once the trial has been initiated, the Instructing Magistrate may order the suspension of the execution of the challenged act, as well as the necessary positive precautionary measures in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Federal Law of Contentious Administrative Procedure.

The Instructing Magistrate, after the conclusion of the trial and/or if there is no pending issue that impedes its resolution, will notify the parties so that they may formulate arguments, which will be considered at the time of issuing the judgment. However, regardless of whether or not pleadings are filed, the trial will be closed and the time periods for the pronouncement of the sentence will begin to run.

The judgment of the Court will be based on law and will resolve on the claim of the plaintiff that is deduced from its claim in relation to the challenged resolution.

Inappropriateness of the Contentious-Administrative Proceeding

The Federal Law of Contentious Administrative Procedure establishes the following assumptions under which the contentious administrative lawsuit does not proceed before the Federal Court of Administrative Justice. Thus, the lawsuit does not proceed in the following cases, on the following grounds and against the following acts:

  • That do not affect the legal interest of the plaintiff
  • That do not fall within the jurisdiction of the Court
  • When they have been the subject of a sentence pronounced by the Court.
  • When there is consent
  • When they are the subject of an appeal or lawsuit pending before an administrative authority or before the Tribunal itself.
  • That may be challenged through an appeal or means of defense, with the exception of those whose filing is optional.
  • Connected to another one that has been challenged
  • That have been challenged in a judicial proceeding.
  • Against regulations
  • When no concepts of challenge are being asserted
  • When the challenged resolution or act does not exist.
  • That may be challenged under the terms of the Foreign Trade Law.
  • Issued by the administrative authority to comply with the decision emanating from the alternative dispute resolution mechanisms referred to in the Foreign Trade Law.
  • That they are resolutions issued by foreign authorities
  • When the claim has been filed by the same party and against the same act on two or more occasions.
  • Others established by law
  • Dismissal of the Contentious-Administrative Proceeding
  • The dismissal consists of the termination of the lawsuit before its normal termination due to the lack of any of its constituent elements, which results in the extinction of the action and therefore it will not be legally possible to initiate a new lawsuit on the same action.

According to the Federal Law of Contentious Administrative Proceedings, the dismissal of the contentious administrative lawsuit is applicable:

  • By withdrawal of the plaintiff
  • When during the trial any of the grounds of inadmissibility arise.
  • In the event that the plaintiff dies during the trial if his claim is not transferable or if his death renders the process without subject matter.
  • If the defendant authority leaves without effect the challenged resolution or act, as long as it satisfies the plaintiff’s claim.
  • If the trial becomes without subject matter
  • In other cases provided by law

Explanatory note: The assumptions foreseen in the administrative contentious trial are diverse and their configuration in reality may vary and therefore give rise to different legal consequences. What is mentioned in this space is merely informative and illustrative.

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