In general, and aside from some exceptions that will be discussed below, the answers issued by the General Directorate of Taxes are not binding, nor for the administration or for the taxpayer who makes the query. Although it may seem paradoxical, the Tax Inspection may subsequently, disagree with the opinion expressed by the General Directorate of Taxes and thereby withdraw an additional settlement from the taxpayer who had scrupulously self-assessed their taxes following the criterion of the General Directorate.
Nevertheless, in practice the answers issued by the Administration determine subsequent actions, belonging to the affected taxpayer. Indeed, the administration can not penalize a taxpayer who has fulfilled its obligations according to the criteria of the answer, although it can demand payment of what hasn’t been paid, plus interest for late payment.
Consequently, an unfavourable response to their interests limits and affects the taxpayer, in fact, the possibilities to interpret the ruling in a different way and therefore more favourable to their interests, given the "trail" that leaves any consultation.
The Law Reform Act of the Tax law admits certain cases in which the answers issued by the General Directorate of Taxes are binding. Such assumptions are as follows:
a) Investment in business assets, as long as the query is formulated prior to the realization of the investment character.
b) Investment tax incentives.
c) Intra-Community transactions made by companies of different member states.
d) Interpretation and implementation of the agreements to avoid double taxation.
e) Taxation derived from records of employment regulation or implementation or modification of social security systems affecting the entire workforce (see the formulation by the company or by representatives of workers)
f) Tax regime of financial assets and life insurance (general consultation by credit institutions and insurers premarket character).
In any case, given that the administration is prone to issue favourable replies to the collective interests of the Treasury it should be carefully considered, in each case, the opportunity to submit a query or not. The taxpayer will then avoid it becoming a double-edged tool.