+33 (0)1 53 59 47 00 cabinet@hmlavocats.fr

Cumulation of criminal and fiscal sanctions

May 11, 2020

The Court of Cassation confirms that criminal proceedings instituted for tax fraud against the natural person representing the legal entity that has been subject to tax sanctions for the same facts do not infringe the ne bis in idem principle:

“Whereas (…) on the one hand, the prohibition of a double conviction for the same acts, provided for in Article 4 of Protocol No. 7, additional to the European Convention on Human Rights, applies, according to the reservation made by France, only to offences falling under French law within the jurisdiction of the courts ruling in criminal matters and does not prohibit the infliction of fiscal sanctions in parallel with the penalties imposed by the criminal court; that, contrary to what the applicant claims, this reservation is not called into question by the European Court of Human Rights (cf. ECHR judgment of 15 November 2016, A and B v. Norway, nos. 24130/11 and 29758/11 § 117);

That, on the other hand, Article 50 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights does not preclude criminal proceedings being brought for tax fraud against the natural person, representative of the legal person, who has been subject to tax sanctions for the same facts (cf. the CJEU judgment of 5 April 2017, C-217/15 and C-350/15)”.

Cass. crim. 6 December 2017, no. 16-81.857