The “Marinello v. The United States” Theory about Tax Collection Hindering.
As many imagine, the topics about hindering tax collection are a success since tax frauds and tax crimes have gained fame that seems attractive due to the benefits, as well as dangerous by virtue of the criminal consequences that they bring.
In this sense of ideas and from a comparative perspective, it is worth observing the “Marinello v. The United States” sentence, which the United States Supreme Court made public on March 21st, 2018, and does a restrictive interpretation of a criminal rule, which classifies as a felony, the hindering of the management, investigation and collection tasks carried out by the American tax system organs.
Now, in the North American system, there is a specific crime called “attempt to interfere in the administration of tax laws”, which word by word stipulates:
“corruptly or by force or threats of force (including any threatening letter or communication) endeavor[ing] to intimidate or impede any officer or employee of the United States acting in an official capacity under [the Internal Revenue Code].
corruptly or by force or threats of force (including any threatening letter or communication) obstruct[ing] or imped[ing], or endeavor[ing] to obstruct or impede, the due administration of [the Internal Revenue Code
In the view of the above classification, the Federal Government asked to convict Mr. Carlo J. Marinello for the commission of eight conducts that, according to a given interpretative line, were part of the type of attempt to interfere in the administration. These acts were, among others, the absence of books and accounting records, destruction of information, destruction of business tax records, concealment of information and payment to employees in cash and so on.
The US Government asserted that Mr. Marinello’s conduct was in the second part of the criminal kind, also called “Omnibus Clause,”. The central theme was about the legal and interpretative scope of the words “obstruct or impede”.
Finally, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the sense that the Administration can only subsume the facts in the specific criminal type if they had happened when there was already in place an administrative procedure against the taxpayer, but not in a generic way and in the absence of any administrative action prior to the events.
In other words, Mr. Marinello would have been guilty of “attempting to interfere in the administration of the tax laws” if and only if at the time he had committed the acts he had already had an administrative proceeding against him.
To further illustrate its decision, the Supreme Court said that contradicting itself would create offenses in the most insignificant acts of taxpayers, such as giving tips without keeping the supporting documents of the amounts given.