Defense in tax crimes: the nuances that a lawyer should take into account, A. Trigub revealed

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Defense in tax crimes: the nuances that a lawyer should take into account, A. Trigub revealed

Despite the liquidation of the tax police, it temporarily remains a body of pre-trial investigation of crimes, the object of which is the financial interests of the state or local government.

The peculiarities of protecting a person in cases of “tax crimes” at the stage of pre-trial investigation were revealed by the associate partner of the Skliarenko, Sydorenko and Partners Attorneys at Law, Andriy Trigub, during a webinar organized by the Higher School of Advocacy. The advanced training event for lawyers took place on December 9, 2020.

The Speaker reminded that according to the decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated 18.12.2018 №1200 «About formation of the State Tax Service of Ukraine and the State Customs Service of Ukraine" State Fiscal Service continues to exercise the powers (in particular, to combat offenses) before the completion of the creation of the State Tax measures service and the relevant law enforcement agency.

Taking into account the Criminal Procedure Code, the State Fiscal Service is still under investigation for 7 basic offenses, responsibility for which is provided for by the Criminal Code:

- Art. 204 (Illegal manufacture, storage, sale or transportation with the purpose of selling excisable goods);

- Art. 205-1 (Forgery of documents submitted for state registration of legal entities and individual entrepreneur);

- Art. 212 (Evasion of taxes, fees (mandatory payments);

- Art. 212-1 (Evasion of payment and insurance premiums for compulsory state pension insurance);

- Art. 216 (Illegal Manufacture, Counterfeiting, Use or Marketing of Illegally Manufactured, Received or Counterfeit Control Stamps);

- Art. 218-1 (Bringing the bank to insolvency);

- Art. 219 (Bringing to bankruptcy).

A. Trigub drew attention to the fact that one of the features of the investigation of crimes, influencing the construction of defense tactics, is the involvement of units of the Security Service of Ukraine in measures for the operational support of criminal proceedings.

“Operational divisions in the State Fiscal Service remained. They are provided with everything they need and work fully. The long-awaited transformation of the tax police into a new body that will investigate economic crimes does not particularly affect the work of these operational units, - said the associate partner of Skliarenko, Sydorenko and Partners. “Along with this, a characteristic feature of cases investigated by tax police investigators, in our opinion, is often operational support from the security service units”.

According to the expert, this is due to the fact that the Security Service of Ukraine retains units working in the field of combating economic crimes (in the central office there is a department for counterintelligence protection of state interests in the field of economic security). “If signs of an economic crime are detected by an operational officer of this unit, then by default the investigator of the Security Service (central office or regional body) cannot investigate the case, since it is not under investigation until the prosecutor’s order is given,” A. Trigub noted, and announced two possible ways of developing the situation.

The lawyer revealed the peculiarities of the participation of the defense attorney in such investigative and procedural actions as part of the investigation of economic crimes, such as interrogation, inspection (search), temporary access to things and documents, taking samples of handwriting for examination, requesting documents to be reclaimed, appointment and conduct of forensic examinations. He also dwelled on the nuances of observing territorial jurisdiction when contacting investigating judges.

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