Defence in criminal proceedings concerning tax offences
The fight against tax evasion is being stepped up both nationally and internationally. In the event of a conviction for tax evasion, those concerned may be faced with fines and custodial sentences of no less than six months. That is why representation by a lawyer is vital in criminal proceedings concerning tax offences. MTR Rechtsanwälte Lawyers and Tax Advisors have a competent team with profound knowledge in the fields of tax and criminal law. Both factors are essential for a successful defence.
- Consultation in the event of tax evasion
- Consultation in criminal law concerning tax offences
- Representation in criminal proceedings concerning tax offences
- Advice and preparation of voluntary declarations
- Consultation in international tax law
When has tax evasion occurred?
Tax evasion has occurred if the information in a tax declaration is incorrect or incomplete, or no tax declaration has been submitted to the tax authorities at all. Tax evasion can thus arise as a result of active behaviour or by omission. If there are grounds for suspicion, the tax authorities will commence criminal proceedings concerning tax offences.
Voluntary disclosure failed – What now?
Voluntary disclosure represents a way of returning to state of legal tax affairs in cases of tax evasion. If voluntary disclosure is successful a conviction is off the table, but even small mistakes in the voluntary declaration can result in it failing and a conviction for tax evasion. When that happens, at the latest, experienced lawyers and tax advisors should be tasked with preparing a defence, as a carefully planned defence strategy generally leads to a milder sentence. Even a flawed voluntary declaration can reduce a sentence.
Consequences arising from criminal proceedings concerning tax offences
- Termination of proceedings due to unjustified accusations
- Termination of proceedings due to minor fault
- Termination of proceedings against payment of a monetary sanction
- Imposition of an order of summary punishment
- Main criminal hearing
The consequences depend substantially on the defence strategy, which we coordinate closely with our clients in order to achieve the best possible result. In many cases, the main court proceedings can be avoided. This is often in the interests of the accused..
Conduct during investigative proceedings
If an investigation is commenced due to suspicion of tax evasion, this can also give rise to house searches. Here, suspects should avoid running into the trap of making ill-judged comments as these can be damaging. Instead, a lawyer and / or tax advisor ought to be promptly consulted. In criminal proceedings concerning tax offences, the suspect and people who are very close to him or her should make use of the comprehensive rights to refuse to testify and to give evidence to which they are entitled and not provide any information on the matter.
Conviction for tax evasion
In the event of tax evasion, those concerned may be faced with fines or custodial sentences of up to five years, and in especially serious cases custodial sentences of six months up to ten years. Furthermore, tradesmen, for instance, can also have their trading certificate revoked. Even the extent of the sentence is highly dependent on the defence strategy.