Criminal tax law is a rapidly evolving matter. Although the general rules of criminal law continue to apply, fully understanding a criminal tax procedure and the particular issues of penalization and prosecution of tax offenses require a specialized approach..
Considering that pursuant to Belgian tax legislation any tax offense is punishable, it is pertinent to avoid double jeopardy (this is the so-called non bis in idem principle; no one can be punished twice based on the same facts). In principle, where a person has already been criminally punished for a tax offense, that person cannot be penalized by an additional tax increase. In this context, we would also like to refer to the recent una via legislation, which seeks to avoid such kind of accumulation of penalties by creating a division between tax authorities and the judicial system.
In order to handle criminal tax cases in a faster and more efficient manner, the scope of potential settlements with the public prosecution has recently been extended substantially for cases of tax fraud.