The criminal tax law has gained significant importance over the past years. This development was initiated by the procurement of differing “tax-CDs” by German tax authorities. Here authorities paid significant purchase prices to foreign criminals, in order to get possession of illegally attained data of foreign credit institutes concerning German taxpayers. According to prevailing case law this practice is considered lawful.
On basis of purchased data, and its comparison with respective tax returns of the affected citizen, a number of criminal proceedings due to the suspicion of tax evasion have been initiated. These proceedings have in a number of cases, from the authorities’ side, been deliberately held in a very public manner. To this the politically initiated discussion, as well as several verdicts of the Federal High Court of Justice, gradually lead to a tightening of tax laws, especially concerning the elongation of the statutes of limitation with evasion data as well as the aggravation of the possibility of exempt of punishment with voluntary declaration.
Defence against the accusation of tax evasion
An appropriate defence against the accusation of tax evasion is not possible without thorough observation of the material tax law. The prerequisite of each tax evasion is that the affected actually owes the allegedly evaded tax. The material tax law is however complex and undergoes constant change. With this, tax obligations are also subject to constant change. For complex tax situations the consultation of an experienced tax advisor is thus essential. For this the lawyer from ECKSTEIN & KOLLEGEN can resort to an extensive network and are thus able to develop an optimal penal strategy for each individual case.
Voluntary declaration – also an option
The legislator has taken different steps in order to decrease the attractiveness of the unpunished voluntary declaration. Nevertheless this possibility of a return to tax honestly has not been abolished. The voluntary declaration should thus still be seriously considered for suitable cases. Considering the crevasse at the purchase of bank data with account information of German citizens as well as the continuously closer international collaboration between states, the risk of detection concerning foreign capital gains has to be classified as substantial.
With the detection of a concrete tax offense the possibility of voluntary declaration is blocked, which may require a quick reaction to the regulatory investigative authorities activities. Due to the by now unclear requirements of the necessary content of a voluntary declaration such a step should – especially in urgent cases – not happen without a penal consultant, since mistakes can cancel the strived for impunity.