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Double jeopardy

16 May 2017
Issue: 4599 / Categories: Tax cases

Orsi and another (C-217/15 and C-350/15), ECJ, 5 April 2017

Criminal proceedings after imposition of penalties

The Italian tax authorities imposed penalties on the taxpayers, O and B, for failure to pay VAT. After that, the Italian courts brought criminal proceedings against the taxpayers. The latter appealed, arguing the principle of double jeopardy precluded an EU member state from bringing proceedings for the same act or omission, for which penalties had already been imposed.

The matter was referred to the Court of Justice of the EU. It ruled that the penalties had been imposed on two companies with legal personality while the criminal proceedings had been brought against O and B who were natural persons. They were different people. Therefore, the criminal proceedings were not precluded by Art 50 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.

Issue: 4599 / Categories: Tax cases
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