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VAT frauds expand the range of offences listed in Legislative Decree 231/01 (Newsletter Norme & Tributi n. 131 – Camera di Commercio Italo-Germanica – Vittorio De Luca, Luciano Vella)

By 6 July 2019, Italy will have to adopt Directive (EU) 2017/1371 (the “PIF Directive”) on the fight against fraud to the Union’s financial interests and approved on 5 July 2017 by the Parliament and European Council. Upon its adoption, VAT fraud will fall in the list of offences established by Legislative Decree 231/01. According to what is established by the PIF Directive, in fact, legal persons may be held liable for “serious offences against the common system of value added tax (“VAT”)” committed to their advantage or in their interest by top managers. A serious offence, specifies the PIF Directive, is deemed an offence that has transnational characteristics affecting two or more member states within the European Union. In addition, the damage against the financial interests of the European Union, for the offence to be defined serious and thus to lead to a penalty, must be at least in the amount of EUR 10,000,000. Among the penalties established by the PIF Directive there are interdictive as well as monetary penalties. Referring specifically to the prohibition penalties, they include the exclusion from entitlement to public benefits or aid, the temporary or permanent closure of establishments which have been used for committing the criminal offence all way to court-ordered compulsory administration or liquidation of the legal entity. This is a novelty of sure interest that will lead, most of all, to the necessary re-thinking of the MOG231 with subsequent updating. Moreover, this legislative intervention will allow the inclusion in the list of the predicate offences as per Legislative Decree 231/01 those offences that are specifically tax-related, reducing, at least in an abstract sense, in Court, the risk of dangerous case-law interpretations not yet anchored to typical regulatory data.