Tax Crimes in India - A study of Union Excise Duty evasion
By Dr Kishore and Sri Kothandaraman
Taxes are 'imposed' and this nature of tax substantiates the fact that Economics is not divorced from Physics in that tax evasion exemplifies Newton's Third Law of Motion. It is common knowledge that the tendency to evade a tax is as old as the tax itself. The nature, characteristics and consequences of such evasionary acts in monetised economy vastly differ, from a largely individual-oriented barter economy of the earlier era. The modern day evasion represents a direct, deliberate and informed attack of an individual or group on the State or the society at large. Tax crimes are part of economic crimes and are violations of fiscal laws of the land in the course of occupational activity by persons who are respectable and of high status in the eyes of the society. Edwin Sutherland, a noted Criminologist described these as "crimes committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of occupation. First proposed by Edelbery (1970) and later figuring in a legislation in USA, 'economic crimes' is defined as 'an illegal act or a series of illegal acts committed by non-physical means and by concealment or guile, to obtain money or property, and avoid the payment of loss of money or property, or to obtain business or personal advantages.'