The Federal Fiscal Court - Supreme Court of Germany for tax and customs/excise duty matters
Highest instance of the fiscal jurisdiction
The Federal Fiscal Court is the supreme instance of the fiscal jurisdiction. It is one of the five Supreme Courts in Germany established under Article 95 of the Basic Law. It is the court of last instance for disputes in the field of tax and customs law, but not for related criminal proceedings, which fall within the jurisdiction of the general criminal courts (last instance is the Federal Court of Justice).
Interpreting tax laws in the context of granting legal protection
The task of the Federal Fiscal Court is to interpret the tax laws in the context of granting legal protection and to clarify undefined legal terms.
In addition, it has the duty to advance the law where necessary (§ 11(4) of the Code of Procedure of Fiscal Courts).
Furthermore, the Federal Fiscal Court must examine whether the respective tax law is constitutional. If it considers a tax law to be unconstitutional, it must suspend the proceedings and obtain the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court (Article 100(1) of the Basic Law).
The judicial decisions of the Federal Fiscal Court often have a considerable wide-ranging effect on the legal practice of the fiscal administration and thus have significant implications for the state budget.