Institute of Financial
and Criminal Tax Law
Context of our Work :
Ever since the economic crisis of 2008, sovereign states have sought to combat economic and financial crime by developing their legal arsenal to wave a constitutional banner for the fight against “big tax evasion” and international fraud.
Since then, the G20 has been seeking exponential transparency regarding the ownership of economic assets, financial flows and related revenues in order to punish as harshly as possible the fraudulent behaviour of natural and legal persons who do not respect the shared regulations.
THERE WERE MULTIPLE REACTIONS:
- It began with a diplomatic approach, by singling out the so-called privileged tax countries (issuing blacklists of tax havens and placing diplomatic pressure on countries such as Switzerland and Luxembourg to end banking secrecy).
- This then progressed through media and legal channels, gaining recognition from major European and international law makers through contributions led by “whistleblowers” and various sectors of international journalism (“LuxLeaks”, “Swissleaks”, “Panama Papers”…).
- The approach has also been legislative, with the recent engagement of several legal and traditional devices that today now enable sovereign states such as France to effectively prosecute perpetrators and accomplices of tax fraud and the financial offences connected with the latter.
With regard to this we must mention the creation of the National Financial Prosecution Service ‘Parquet National Financier’, which has enabled the automatic exchange of information, the formalisation of fiscal evidence, the standardising of the status of the paid tax adviser, the creation of a new tax policy entirely under the control of the tax audit department at Bercy, an increase in correctional penalties against tax evaders, the exposure of the criminal responsibility of the intermediaries involved, the establishment of a “name and shame” procedure, the systematisation of big data for targeting tax audits, the extension of the statue of limitations in this area …
These developments come into force even though the French department for the declaration of foreign assets closed on December 31, 2017 and the current Government is attempting to inject an ethos of ’fiscal morality’ into the public debate, specifically with regard to large companies, as a actual communication agenda.
At the current moment this development echoes the aspirations of the People, who want public authorities to step up in the fight against tax fraud. The French could not have been plainer in their demonstration of this. Our country also appears to be a real driving force in this domain.
« It is in this economic and political context that we have sought to create a group of initiatives and deliberations aimed at bringing together the diverse sectors involved in this hybrid subject matter and to build and develop this based on the French legal system, but also using European and international law.
This really is a work of creation that must be a joint effort.
This new subject matter cannot be developed by crudely cobbling two law systems together. ».
President of the l’IDPF²