What does it take for God’s scourge to strike twice? - PKF Hungary Hírek

What does it take for God’s scourge to strike twice?

In case C-412/21 concerning Romania, the tax authority suspended the tax warehouse permit of a manufacturer of alcoholic beverages for several months due to fraudulent circumstances discovered during an on-site inspection.

A criminal proceeding was also initiated, and when charges were brought against the authorized warehousekeeper more than two years later, the tax authority again suspended the tax warehouse permit, this time until the conclusion of the criminal proceedings. The European Court of Justice pointed out that until the conclusion of the criminal proceedings, the accused must be considered innocent, and therefore it is illegal to apply a criminal sanction during the criminal proceedings.

Furthermore, since the Romanian authorities identified only one offence, but applied sanctions twice, the court’s position is that the combination of administrative and criminal sanctions is only possible if the national legislation provides for precise and unambiguous rules to allow such combination for achieving different objectives, and the combined application of the sanctions is proportionate to the severity of the offence.

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