This spring, the tradition of non-prosecution of pure tax offences, which had lasted for many years on Aruba, Sint Maarten, Curaçao and the BES islands (Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba), was terminated. Tax offences will now be prosecuted separately, which had never happened on the islands before. In the spring of 2018, the Court of First Instance of Sint Maarten gave a number of judgments that are decisive for the tax fraud practice on the islands. Furthermore, the Court of First Instance formulated the principle that, due to the fact that it has been customary practice not to prosecute pure tax offences (i.e. without an offence under general criminal law), unconditional prison sentences will for the time being only be imposed in exceptional cases.
The judgments entail important new directives for the tax fraud practice on these islands. In the Dutch journal on criminal law, Tijdschrift Bijzonder Strafrecht & Handhaving, Kim Demandt and Paula Janssen comment on these judgments and discuss the most prominent points.
We are following these new developments with great interest because of our expertise and extensive experience in criminal tax law and our close connection with the islands. We also represent clients on the Caribbean islands in tax fraud cases.