Industrial PhD-project on “The Administrative Practice of the Danish Tax Authorities from a Functional Perspective”

The Industrial PhD.-project is financed by SKAT and the University of Copenhagen.

The subject of this PhD thesis is the administrative practice of the Danish tax authorities. It is a legal source determined by the tax authorities themselves as part of their internal rules. Typically, such internal rules comprehensively qualify specific acts and events in a tax law context and has a great impact on tax case law, and therefore on the taxpayers subject to it. 

The practice of the Danish tax authorities plays a key role in tax ruling in a way, which should not be possible according to legal tax theory, the legal basis, and perhaps the tax authorities’ own opinion.  Examination of case law shows that, in some cases, the practice of the Danish tax authorities is the only reason for the tax administration imposing or repealing tax on income, reallocating taxation from one taxpayer to another, or giving credit for expenses that, according to the tax legislation, are not deductible.

The practice of the tax authorities has not yet been theoretically categorized and individually examined in order to determine under what specific conditions, and on what legal basis, and to which scope different types of administrative practice impact on taxpayers, courts and the tax authorities themselves. 

This thesis examines the practice of the Danish tax authorities. The aim is to provide an overview of how this practice affects the outcome of tax case law. It will include an analysis and assessment of what this practice actually is from the perspective of substantive, administrative and constitutional law. 

Industrial PhD Fellow Signe Wesenberg-Lund, SKAT.