Criminal Tax Law
Criminal Tax Law is complex matter and subject to constant changes. Therefore, it is relatively easy to inadvertently overlook strict regulations and become and alleged tax offender. Indeed, a tax offender pursuant to the AO tax code, next to the criminal issues, will also face tax-related questions that need to be clarified quickly and comprehensively. GRP Rainer offers not only sound legal advice from its attorneys but also professional tax advice from its qualified tax advisors.
Tax investigations may acquire knowledge of any tax-related criminal offences in multiple ways:
The auditors engaged in a tax investigation may uncover potential offences via control notes from bank accounts or tax-evader CDs stolen from banks or third parties. At times, tax authorities may become aware of possible tax violations through information received from customs authorities. Should the taxpayer – even if standing a few kilometres beyond the border - be examined by customs officers and found to be carrying cash, these will send the tax authorities precise information on the amount of cash found. A tax investigation may be initiated on such apparently minor grounds.
During a preliminary investigation, the accused is exposed to a dedicated audit by tax investigators, which may be accompanied by a search of his private premises as well as the seizure of property and business records. Therefore, a lawyer's advice is especially recommended in the case of a search, ideally before a search takes place. Amongst other reasons, this is because only the presence of an attorney during the search guarantees that the accused can exercise his/her rights fully.
Threat of penalty
Penalties provided by the AO tax code are extremely severe. In particular, the penalty imposed for tax fraud is up to 5 years of imprisonment or a corresponding fine. In especially serious cases, tax fraud may lead to imprisonment from 6 months to 10 years. In case of tax evasion, the resulting fine up may go up to 50,000 €. Furthermore, according to a recent Federal Supreme Court ruling which may still be suspended, a penalty of imprisonment may be imposed for evaded amounts from EUR 50,000, as it is done for very serious cases. Indeed, even a tax evasion attempt is considered a criminal offence.
Anyone liable or allegedly liable of a tax offence should immediately consult a lawyer. The attorneys at GRP Rainer offer their advice and representation in the course of a precautionary voluntary disclosure, verify the content of tax offence allegations against the defendants if a process has been already initiated, and contest by your side the administrative and court proceedings. In addition, we discuss the criminal tax relevance of planned business endeavours. As regards tax compliance, we provide advice on compliance with tax regulations and risk coverage. As lawyers and tax advisors, we offer you comprehensive and holistic counselling from a single source.