Ministry: Punishment for tax crimes should be tightened in Azerbaijan

Business Materials 13 December 2013 16:10 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.13
By Emin Aliyev - Trend:

Punishment for tax crimes should be tightened in Azerbaijan, Head of the Department for Preliminary Investigation of tax crimes under the Ministry of Taxes of Azerbaijan Vidadi Mammadov told Trend on Dec.12.

Coercive measures considered for the violation of tax legislation can be divided into two parts, Mammadov said.

"The first covers financial sanctions and administrative fines envisaged by the Tax Code and Code of Administrative Offences of Azerbaijan for late or incomplete payment of taxes. The second category includes punishments for tax evasion in large and especially large amounts envisaged by the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.

Therefore, tax evasion or evasion from payments on compulsory state social insurance in a large amount should be punished by imprisonment of up to three years. If this evasion is committed in an especially large amount, or by an organised group, the maximum term of punishment should increase to seven years of imprisonment. A person who committed crime for the first time is exempt from criminal liability in the case of full payment of damages, according to the Criminal Code," Mammadov said.

For comparison, the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation envisages imprisonment of up to two years for tax evasion and imprisonment up to six years for evasion for an especially large amount, Mammadov said.

"If we compare the details of every clause, we can see that in Azerbaijan, a taxpayer who committed a crime for the first time is exempt from criminal liability in the case of his paying the amount which he evaded, in other words, without paying stipulated penalties and interest.

However, in Russian legislative practice, a taxpayer must pay the full damage including penalties and interest. Experience shows that due to the fact the payment of penalties and interest is regulated by civil law, it is often delayed by taxpayers, or not made at all. In this regard, I believe there is a need to improve legislation in this sphere, as well as to tighten penalties for crimes related to tax evasion," Mammadov said.

Translated by L.Z.

Edited by S.M.