Uruguay: Nueva circunstancia agravante para la Defraudación Tributaria.

Last Updated: 13 November 2017
Article by Alvaro Alonso

El objeto de análisis del presente artículo será la incorporación de una circunstancia de agravante a la modalidad de comisión del delito de defraudación tributaria, introducido al Código Tributario, Decreto – Ley 14306 artículo 110 bis, por el artículo 252 de la Ley 19535, "Rendición de cuentas y balance de ejecución presupuestal"

I. Introducción

El ordenamiento jurídico uruguayo impone severas sanciones para aquel sujeto que pretenda sustraerse de las obligaciones que le impone el "fisco" a nivel tributario. Recordemos que es sujeto obligado aquel, cuya conducta es encausada dentro de alguno de los hechos generadores previstos por la ley para el nacimiento de la obligación tributaria, ahora bien, en caso de no cumplir el sujeto con la prestación debida, nuestra ley impone un abanico de sanciones de diferente naturaleza.

Como infracciones tributarias existen, la mora, la defraudación, la contravención, la omisión de pago y la instigación pública a no pagar tributos.

II. Infracción de Defraudación

Respecto de la defraudación, aprovecharemos para hacer algunas puntualizaciones, el Código Tributario en el capítulo quinto sección primera sobre "infracciones y sanciones" regula la defraudación pura y simple a la cual define en el artículo 96 como un acto fraudulento realizado por el contribuyente con la intención de obtener, para sí o para un tercero, un enriquecimiento que no es debido, a expensas de la vulneración de los derechos del Fisco a percibir los tributos. Incluso más precisamente se define el acto de fraude como todo engaño u ocultación que induzca o bien pueda inducir (independientemente del resultado) a los funcionarios de la Administración Fiscal a que acepten percibir o reclamar importes menores de los que correspondan o bien a otorgar cualquier franquicia de forma indebida. El sujeto obligado que tienda a este comportamiento, será sancionado con pena de multa de una a quince veces del tributo defraudado ya que como lo dijimos, estamos frente a una infracción.

III. Delito de Defraudación Tributaria y similitudes con la infracción de Defraudación.

Ahora bien, el Código Tributario bajo el acápite del capítulo sexto sobre Derecho Penal Tributario en el artículo 110 dispone que incurrirá en Defraudación Tributaria, el que directamente o por interpuesta persona, procediera con engaño con el fin de obtener, para sí o para un tercero, un provecho indebido a expensas de los derecho del Estado, a la percepción de sus tributos. Debemos tener en cuenta que se castiga al infractor con una pena de seis meses de prisión a seis años de penitenciaría, en este caso la pena es privativa de libertad ya que estamos sin duda frente a un delito. Ahora bien, es de carácter notorio el parecido que existe entre ambas conductas. Por otro lado debemos remarcar que en ambos ilícitos está presente el elemento fraude definido como: "un elemento objetivo, una conducta, una acción o maniobra, realizada con engaño u ocultación. El artículo 96 dispone a texto
expreso la presencia del fraude en la conducta de defraudación, en el mismo sentido el artículo 110, nos habla de proceder con engaño, extremo que entendemos es intrínseco a la definición misma de fraude, como toda conducta de engaño u ocultación.

IV. Aplicación de la agravante al delito de Defraudación Tributaria

Con respecto a la nueva circunstancia agravante introducida por el artículo 252 de la ley 19535, que ingresa al Código Tributario Uruguayo Decreto- Ley 14306 con el artículo 110 BIS se dispone, un aumento de la pena de "dos a ocho años de penitenciaría cuando se hubieran utilizado, en forma total o parcial, facturas o cualquier otro documento equivalente, ideológica o materialmente falsos". Con respecto al presente artículo haremos algunas puntualizaciones con carácter general, independientemente que damos cuenta que en los próximos meses correrán ríos de tinta en doctrina tributaria y penal respecto de ésta nueva incorporación. Primero, es notorio que para configurar el agravante, se requiere cierto grado de "sofisticación" del engaño y la puesta en práctica de la "estratagema" en la forma de proceder del sujeto que lo realiza. Segundo, bastaría que en forma parcial el sujeto utilice facturas o cualquier otro documento equivalente ideológicamente o materialmente falsos susceptibles de inducir en error a la administración con el fin de obtener un provecho indebido a expensas de los derechos del Estado de percibir sus tributos. En este punto debemos recordar que la falsificación material, hace a la forma de exteriorización del documento, es decir, cualquiera de las declaraciones exteriorizadas a través del mismo, son en esencia, falsas, daremos como ejemplo, que el sujeto haga modificaciones a través de manchas, tachaduras, sustitución de letras, palabras o números en el documento. En la vereda opuesta, en la falsificación ideológica, el documento es en esencia, materialmente válido, exteriormente verdadero, pero es falsa la idea declarada en él, cuya intención es perjudicar, crear o alterar la verdad acerca de un hecho jurídicamente relevante, ponemos como ejemplo, un recibo de pago, válido y sellado por la administración que establece que un sujeto canceló una deuda, que en los hechos, jamás abonó. Tercero, la pena que establece es únicamente de penitenciaría, es decir estaría negando la posibilidad de la libertad anticipada antes de que el sujeto cumpla con la mitad del período de la pena estando privado de libertad.

V. Consideraciones finales

En conclusión, se estaría introduciendo un nuevo artículo al Código Tributario Uruguayo, en forma de agravante al delito de defraudación tributaria. Se eleva significativamente el guarismo de las penas privativas de libertad producto de la presencia de un "estratagema" de tipo "sofisticado" en la forma en que el sujeto lleva adelante la conducta de defraudación tributaria. Debemos tener en cuenta la agravante eleva significativamente la pena privativa de libertad a sufrir por el infractor, de dos a ocho años.

Recordemos que en la Defraudación tributaria sin la imputación de la agravante, el guarismo es de seis meses de prisión a seis años de penitenciaría, por lo que se aumenta el máximo de penitenciaría de seis años a ocho años respectivamente y se eleva el mínimo de seis meses de prisión a dos años de penitenciaría en este sentido. No es menor que respecto del mínimo se impone que la pena sea necesariamente de penitenciaría, ya que para otorgar la libertad anticipada el sujeto debe haber cumplido más de la mitad de la pena estando privado de su libertad, diferente es cuando la pena es de prisión que la libertad anticipada puede ser otorgada en cualquier momento. Al respecto, diremos que, existe un gran parecido entre la conducta de defraudación y defraudación tributaria, pero las penas de ambos ilícitos son diametralmente opuestas, extremo que habría que esclarecer, diferenciando en forma más precisa cuando nos encontramos ante una u otra situación. Por otro lado, no se ha saldado la discusión doctrinaria sobre si para la esfera del derecho penal tributario es aplicable en conjunto el código penal y los principios propios aplicables a la materia o bien, por encontrarse la pena dentro del código tributario se deberán aplican los principios propios de la materia, entendemos que es de una importancia práctica sustantiva sancionar una ley interpretativa respecto de este punto, ya que existen diferencias en una y otra esfera, en cuanto a la forma de apreciar el tipo de responsabilidad del sujeto que realiza el hecho ilícito, sobre todo en la forma de apreciar la " culpabilidad". Como hemos expuesto anteriormente en los próximos meses correrán ríos de tinta tanto de la doctrina tributarista asimismo como de los más prestigiosos penalistas que se pronunciarán en este sentido con sus respetables posiciones.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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