Uniform application and further development of the law
When making final decisions on individual cases, it is the task of a court of appeal to establish general principles for the interpretation and application of the law in order to ensure uniformity of application. In addition, it is responsible for further developing the law. Many decisions of the Federal Fiscal Court are therefore of fundamental importance.
Decisions of the Federal Fiscal Court are incorporated into tax directives and other administrative instructions
All decisions of the Federal Fiscal Court are directly binding only on the parties to the case. However, the findings of the supreme tax court are regularly applied to parallel cases. This is because the legal principles formulated in the judgments and rulings of the Federal Fiscal Court are frequently included in the tax directives and other administrative instructions on which the actual tax execution by the fiscal authorities is based.
Non-application decree by tax authorities
Occasionally, the tax authorities issue a so-called non-application decree. In this case, they order that the tax offices should not apply a decision made by the Federal Fiscal Court beyond the specific individual case decided. The tax authorities then generally intend to present their legal opinion again in a new court case and to have the Federal Fiscal Court review its judicial decision. If, in the context of a new decision, the Federal Fiscal Court again arrives at the same conclusion as previously, the tax authorities will in principle apply the now established judicial decisions to all parallel cases.
However, sometimes the Federal Ministry of Finance influences the legislator and has the judicial decisions corrected by amending the relevant tax law (so-called non-application laws).