Tougher sanctions imposed by authorities for tax evasion

Major amendments are provided in respect to the sanctions imposed on entities committing tax evasion, which will materialise in more severe punishments, such as imprisonment.

Moreover, for certain acts of tax evasion, taxpayers will no longer be punished with a fine, being liable to imprisonment for longer periods of time.

Monitorul Oficial al Romaniei No 146 / 19 March 2013 has published Law No 50 / 14 March 2013 amending Law No 241 / 2005 on tax evasion prevention and fighting.

This legislative act provides for several major amendments to the sanctions applicable for acts of tax evasion, consisting of tougher punishments like imprisonment.

A tax evader will no longer have the possibility to pay only a fine for his acts as he shall be convicted and sentenced for longer periods of time for specific acts of tax evasion.

The reason for such punitive measures is to diminish taxpayers’ evasion from fulfilling their tax obligations, and to encourage them to behave in a responsible and disciplinary manner.

Thus, the act of any taxpayer failing, either deliberately or out of guilt, to prepare again accounting records which have been destroyed, within the term provided under investigation documents, shall be deemed a crime that will be punished with imprisonment from six (6) months to five (5) years.  Previously, such crime was punished with a fine from RON 5,000 to RON 30,000, provided that it had been intentionally committed.

According to the amending Law, any taxpayer’s unjustified refusal to furnish the competent authorities with legal documents and information about his assets with a view to hindering financial, tax or customs control thereof shall be punished with imprisonment from one (1) to six (6) years, within fifteen (15) days of the date on which such taxpayer received notice of default, without any possibility for remedy through the payment of a fine.  Also, subject to taxpayer’s act, the sentence period may even be extended.

Likewise, taxpayer’s act of hindering, in any form, competent authorities’ access to his place of business for specific verifications, in the conditions stipulated by law, shall be punished with imprisonment from one (1) to six (6) years.

In addition, taxpayer’s act of retaining amounts representing withholding taxes or contributions and intentional non-payment of such amounts within thirty (30) days, at the latest, of the due date shall be punished with imprisonment from one (1) to six (6) years.

Moreover, the minimum and maximum time limits of imprisonment shall be extended for crimes worth more than EUR 100,000 by five (5) years, while for those amounting to over EUR 500,000 by seven (7) years.

The amending Law comes into force three (3) days after the date of its publication in Monitorul Oficial.

TAX ALERT by Mazars Consulting / MAZARS ROMANIA

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* TAX ALERTcontains a selection of the latest major issues occurred in the Romanian legislative framework, is intended only to provide information and, hence, shall not be deemed to provide professional advice or consultancy.  Therefore, we assume no responsibility in this respect.

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