[:it]For the Milanese Gip if the PA does not pay its debts to suppliers, it cannot claim that they are convicted of evasion.

Can an entrepreneur who evades taxes be considered guilty if the state does not pay his debts? This question was answered by a recent ruling of the Court of Milanwhich found itself deciding on a case of strong socio-economic interest. Specifically, the managing director of a Milanese company, Sintea Plustek of Assago, had been supplying three ASLs and a hospital in Campania since 2005 with products for a total amount of EUR 1.7 million. However, these supplies were not paid by the PA. Despite the default from the PA, the company still owed the tax authorities approximately EUR 180,000 in VAT for invoices issued. For this reason, criminal proceedings were initiated against the company's legal representative for tax evasion.

The Milan Judge, Claudio Castelli, decided the acquittal of the defendant since these, as stated in the grounds of the judgment, 'was forced not to pay by an omissive and dilatory behaviour on the part of public bodies that should have paid. "

This judgment is of particular interest since the Court wanted to protect not so much the right of the individual entrepreneur, but of a (now large) category of Italian companies often reduced to collapse due to state failures. It is recalled, most recently, a similar case involving the legal representative of the recovery community for drug addicts 'Saman'. In the case in question, the community boasted, in 2009, receivables from the Asl of two and a half million euro, and debts to the tax authorities of one million 750 thousand euro. The Gip had at the time acquitted the defendant on the grounds that the non-payment to the Treasury was to be considered a 'case of force majeure', as no malicious intent on the part of the administrator could be found.

Lastly, it is important to emphasise that the acquittals in the two criminal trials do not disregard the companies' obligation to pay the taxes due, the amount of which had been quantified in the parallel tax proceedings.