Moldovan tax authorities given powers of criminal investigation
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The new legislative amendments which provide the State Fiscal Service with powers of criminal investigation came into effect on 01/01/2021.
On 11 September 2020, the Moldovan Parliament approved the amendments to a number of laws, most importantly into the Fiscal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code.
The amendments aim at:
- Providing the State Fiscal Service (SFS) with the powers to conduct criminal investigation in a range of criminal offenses;
- Empowering the SFS to carry out operative investigative actions in respect of the criminal offenses under within its remit.
- Extending the SFS’s jurisdiction in contraventional (misdemeanour) matters.
What offences will be investigated by the State Fiscal Service
Investigation powers on the following categories of criminal offences have been passed into the jurisdiction of the State Fiscal Service (previously, these offences were investigated by the prosecution service or the police):
- Illegal business activities (Article 241 of the Criminal Code);
- Illegal financial activities (Article 2411 of the Criminal Code);
- False (Pseudo-) business activities (Article 242 of the Criminal Code);
- Tax evasion by companies, institutions and organizations (Article 244 of the Criminal Code);
- Tax evasion by natural persons (Article 2441 of the Criminal Code);
- Transport, storage or trade of goods subject to excise duty without marking them with control or excise stamps (article 250 of the Criminal Code);
- Illegal manufacturing, putting into circulation and usage of state marking signs (Article 2501 of the Criminal Code);
- Appropriation, alienation of property in cases not permitted by law, concealment of the pledged, leased, seized or confiscated property (Article 251 of the Criminal Code);
- Intentional insolvency (Article 252 of the Criminal Code);
- Fictitious insolvency (Article 253 of the Criminal Code);
- Forging accounting documents (Article 3351 of the Criminal Code).
The intentions of the bill’s drafters were:
- To increase the state’s capacity to act against illegal actions hindering the development of a stable business climate;
- To remove unfair competition factors for economic entities complying with the legal requirements;
- To reduce shadow economy;
- To improve business climate in the country;
- To increase revenues to the national public budget, etc.