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Skattetillägg och skattebrott samt dess förenlighet med artikel 4 i sjunde tilläggsprotokollet till Europakonventionen

Honic, Irina LU (2011) JURM01 20111
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Under 2010 anmäldes 18 200 brott mot skattebrottslagen, inklusive grovt skattebrott och vådslös skatteuppgift. Skattebrott upptäcks och anmäls vanligtvis av Skatteverket eller av konkursförvaltare. I de flesta fallen förekommer även en skatteprocess i vilket det ingår skattetillägg.

Skattetillägg är en särskild avgift som utgår med 40 % av den skatt som felaktigt deklarerats. Det finns ingen som helst begränsning i skattetilläggets storlek och den kan därför uppgå till mycket stora belopp.

I artikel 4 punkt 1 i det sjunde tilläggsprotokollet till Europakonventionen som gäller som svensk lag sedan 1995 finns ett förbud mot dubbla förfaranden i brottmål. Det har sedan länge diskuterats huruvida det svenska skattetilläggssystemet är... (More)
Under 2010 anmäldes 18 200 brott mot skattebrottslagen, inklusive grovt skattebrott och vådslös skatteuppgift. Skattebrott upptäcks och anmäls vanligtvis av Skatteverket eller av konkursförvaltare. I de flesta fallen förekommer även en skatteprocess i vilket det ingår skattetillägg.

Skattetillägg är en särskild avgift som utgår med 40 % av den skatt som felaktigt deklarerats. Det finns ingen som helst begränsning i skattetilläggets storlek och den kan därför uppgå till mycket stora belopp.

I artikel 4 punkt 1 i det sjunde tilläggsprotokollet till Europakonventionen som gäller som svensk lag sedan 1995 finns ett förbud mot dubbla förfaranden i brottmål. Det har sedan länge diskuterats huruvida det svenska skattetilläggssystemet är förenlig med förbudet mot dubbla förfaranden i Europakonventionen. Både Regeringsrätten och Högsta domstolen har varit eniga om att den svenska ordningen inte strider mot Europakonventionens förbud mot dubbelbestraffning. Det framstår dock som osäkert om Europadomstolen kommer fram till samma slutsats vid eventuell prövning av frågan. En orsak till detta är att Europadomstolens praxis avseende kriterierna för vad som är att anse som samma brott enligt konventionen har varit otydlig. Enligt tidigare praxis som förekommit i Högsta Domstolen, Regeringsrätten och Europadomstolen utgör det inte förbjuden dubbelbestraffning om någon åtalas eller döms för samma gärning som föranlett påförande av skattetillägg.

I ett av sina senaste avgöranden, det banbrytande målet Zolotukhin mot Ryssland, gör Europadomstolen ändring av sin tidigare praxis och förklarar att dubbelbestraffningsförbud i Europakonventionen istället bör tolkas som ett förbud mot åtal eller rättegång för ett andra brott då detta härrör från identiska fakta eller fakta som i huvudsak är desamma. Trots denna ändring kom Högsta domstolen i sina senaste beslut rörande skattebrott fram till att det fortfarande saknas klart stöd i Europakonventionen eller Europadomstolens praxis för att generellt underkänna det svenska systemet med dubbla förfaranden. Europadomstolens praxis ansågs inte utgöra hinder mot att pröva eller bifalla åtalet för skattebrott i de fall där skattetillägg påförts.

I dagsläget finns det emellertid ett par tingsrättsavgörande där man vägrade att döma efter Högsta domstolens praxis. Haparanda tingsrätt konstaterade i ett mål rörande skattebrott att principerna om EU-rättens företräde och direkta effekt skall ha företräde framför kravet på ”klart stöd” som HD fastställde i sin praxis. TR ansåg att kravet var oförenligt med gemenskapsrätten och begärde därför i december förra året ett förhandsavgörande från EU-domstolen. Målet är vilandeförklarat i avvaktan på svar från EU-domstolen. (Less)
Abstract
In 2010 almost 18 200 crimes against the Tax Act, including gross tax crime and tax misdemeanors were reported in Sweden. Tax crimes are usually detected and reported by the Swedish Tax Agency or the liquidator. In most cases a tax procedure even occurs with the debiting of tax surcharges.

Tax surcharges is a special charge added to the normal tax with 40% when the income was wrong declared. There is no limits for size of the surcharges and it can therefore reach considerable amounts.

Article 4.1 of the Protocol 7 of The European Convention on Human Rights, which applies as the Swedish law since 1995, includes the so called principle of ne bis in idem. This principle means that no one can be punished twice for the same deed. There... (More)
In 2010 almost 18 200 crimes against the Tax Act, including gross tax crime and tax misdemeanors were reported in Sweden. Tax crimes are usually detected and reported by the Swedish Tax Agency or the liquidator. In most cases a tax procedure even occurs with the debiting of tax surcharges.

Tax surcharges is a special charge added to the normal tax with 40% when the income was wrong declared. There is no limits for size of the surcharges and it can therefore reach considerable amounts.

Article 4.1 of the Protocol 7 of The European Convention on Human Rights, which applies as the Swedish law since 1995, includes the so called principle of ne bis in idem. This principle means that no one can be punished twice for the same deed. There are a lot of discussions about whether the Swedish tax surcharge system is in accordance with the prohibition against double procedures of the ECHR. Both the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court and the Swedish Supreme Court considered this question and concluded that the Swedish tax system is not in conflict with ECHR:s prohibition against double punishment. However, it seems to be unclear whether the European Court of Human Rights will have the same opinion when examining this question, since the European Court’s practice regarding the criteria for what is considered to be same offense under the Convention is unclear. According to the earlier practice from the Swedish Supreme Court, the Swedish Administrative Court and the European Court of Human rights it was not forbidden to punish or prosecute someone twice for the same deed when the first punishment was an administrative sanction such as tax surcharge.

In a recent decision, the Zolotukhin vs Russia case, the European Court of Human Rights changed its previous practice and made a new interpretation of the principle of ne bis in idem. The court stated that the principle instead should be interpreted as the prohibition on prosecution or trial for the same crime in case where the crimes are connected to the same factual circumstances involving the same defendant and linked together in time and space. Despite those changes, the Swedish Supreme Court has, in its latest decision concerning tax crime and debiting of tax surcharge decided that there is still no clear support in the European Convention on the protection of human rights or in the practice of the European Court, supporting a rejection of the Swedish dual procedures system. The Swedish Supreme Court has considered that the European Court’s practice does not prevent someone from being subject for prosecution for tax crime and debiting of tax surcharges for the same deed at the same time.

In the current situation, there are a couple of district courts in Sweden which have refused to follow the practice established by the Supreme Court. The Haparanda District Court found, in the case concerning the tax crime that the European principle of supremacy, and the principle of direct effect, shall prevail over the Swedish Supreme Court`s requirement of clear support in the European Court´s practice. The Haparanda District Court has considered that the Swedish legislation does not conform to the Convention and therefore decided to make a reference for a preliminary ruling to the ECJ. The proceedings in the national court are therefore stayed until the ECJ has communicated a decision. (Less)
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author
Honic, Irina LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Tax surcharges and tax offenses and their conformity with Article 4 of the Seventh Additional Protocol to the ECHR
course
JURM01 20111
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Skatterätt, skattebrott, skattetillägg, dubbelbestraffningsförbud
language
Swedish
id
2064604
date added to LUP
2011-09-12 08:41:30
date last changed
2011-09-12 08:41:30
@misc{2064604,
  abstract     = {In 2010 almost 18 200 crimes against the Tax Act, including gross tax crime and tax misdemeanors were reported in Sweden.  Tax crimes are usually detected and reported by the Swedish Tax Agency or the liquidator. In most cases a tax procedure even occurs with the debiting of tax surcharges.

Tax surcharges is a special charge added to the normal tax with 40%  when the income was wrong declared. There is no limits for size of the  surcharges and it can therefore reach considerable amounts.

Article 4.1 of the Protocol 7 of The European Convention on Human Rights, which applies as the Swedish law since 1995, includes the so called principle of ne bis in idem. This principle means that no one can be punished twice for the same deed. There are a lot of discussions about whether the Swedish tax surcharge system is in accordance with the prohibition against double procedures of the ECHR. Both the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court and the Swedish Supreme Court considered this question and concluded that the Swedish tax system is not in conflict with ECHR:s prohibition against double punishment. However, it seems to be unclear whether the European Court of Human Rights will have the same opinion when examining this question, since the European Court’s practice regarding the criteria for what is considered to be same offense under the Convention is unclear.  According to the earlier practice from the Swedish Supreme Court, the Swedish Administrative Court and the European Court of Human rights it was not forbidden to punish or prosecute someone twice for the same deed when the first punishment was an administrative sanction such as tax surcharge.

In a recent decision, the  Zolotukhin vs Russia case, the European Court of Human Rights changed its previous practice and made a new interpretation of the principle of ne bis in idem. The court stated that the principle  instead should be interpreted as the prohibition on prosecution or trial for the same crime in case where the crimes are connected to the same factual circumstances involving the same defendant and linked together in time and space.    Despite those changes, the Swedish Supreme Court has, in its latest decision concerning tax crime and debiting of tax surcharge decided that there is still no clear support in the European Convention on the protection of human rights or in the practice of the European Court, supporting a rejection of the Swedish dual procedures system. The Swedish Supreme Court has considered that the European Court’s practice does not prevent someone from being subject for prosecution for tax crime and debiting of tax surcharges for the same deed at the same time. 

In the current situation, there are a couple of district courts in Sweden which have refused to follow the practice established by the Supreme Court. The Haparanda District Court found, in the case concerning the tax crime that the European  principle of supremacy, and the principle of direct effect, shall prevail over the Swedish Supreme Court`s requirement of clear support in the European Court´s practice. The Haparanda District Court has considered that the Swedish legislation does not conform to the Convention and therefore decided to make a reference for a preliminary ruling to the ECJ. The proceedings in the national court are therefore stayed until the ECJ has communicated a decision.},
  author       = {Honic, Irina},
  keyword      = {Skatterätt,skattebrott,skattetillägg,dubbelbestraffningsförbud},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Skattetillägg och skattebrott samt dess förenlighet med artikel 4 i sjunde tilläggsprotokollet till Europakonventionen},
  year         = {2011},
}