Deputy Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Elena Leonenko told in an interview to "Izvestia" that the agency supports a tightening of criminal liability for non-payment of taxes by individuals. However, it is not about the change of sanctions, but about a significant extension of the statute of limitations for tax crimes, in particular, for individual entrepreneurs.
Elena Leonenko, Deputy Chairman of the Investigative Committee, voiced the position of the agency regarding the statute of limitations for tax crimes.
- We are in favor of strengthening criminal liability for individuals. Here we need to understand: if a legal entity has evaded paying taxes for a large amount, it will have to answer in a year or 10 years, as soon as the court. As for individual entrepreneurs, no matter how much they have withheld from the treasury, the statute of limitations for crimes is only two years. Even if the amount of damage exceeds 45 million rubles IE can easily get away with it in 24 months", - said Leonenko to "Izvestia".
According to Alexander Dmitriev, a lawyer of the law firm Tax Compliance, the increase of the limitation period of criminal liability for individual entrepreneurs is a burning issue for investigative authorities.
— Unscrupulous taxpayers have recently begun to register fictitious individual entrepreneurs to optimize taxation and cashing out money. At the same time, it is much more difficult for investigators to recover any property from a sole proprietorship, since everything belongs, as a rule, to a fictitious individual. And after a criminal case has been instituted against a sole proprietorship, the legal entity in whose interests he acted may be appointed as the beneficiary. The two-year period of criminal responsibility for IE, which is now established, is sometimes not enough for the investigation to disclose such schemes," Dmitriev told "Izvestia".
The accelerated procedure for transferring cases from the Federal Tax Service to the IC will enable investigators to quickly and legally suspend the activities of a company caught in violation and reduce the risk of the possible sale of property that may subsequently be foreclosed on.
— The consequences of these initiatives are ambiguous," Dmitriev said. — Positive ones are mostly for investigative authorities. And negative ones for businesses and entrepreneurs, as bona fide taxpayers sometimes due to legal illiteracy or accounting omissions can also be held criminally liable.
You can view the full article in Izvestiya.