Criminal tax law

Criminal tax law, which is codified in the German Fiscal Code as well as supplementary tax legislation, such as the Value-Added Tax Act, contains provisions to penalise any violation of tax obligations. This applies, in particular, to tax reporting obligations: filing tax returns with incorrect information or failing to file mandatory tax returns may constitute tax fraud under section 370 (1) of the Fiscal Code. The defence against such allegations requires, first of all, a critical examination of the tax-law situation. That is because anything that is legal and permissible under tax law cannot be punishable under criminal tax law.

Also, criminal tax law proceedings differ from the prosecution of other offences: firstly, because the actual taxation procedure is run in parallel to these proceedings. This requires careful examination and consideration as to what must or should be declared to the tax authorities. Secondly, it should be noted that the investigative and tax authorities generally command considerable resources in major tax cases, which are deployed to gather information on facts and circumstances that are presumably relevant under criminal tax law.

As German tax law subjects almost any kind of situation to taxation, criminal tax law is extremely complex. Accordingly, the firm’s legal expertise ranges from wage tax evasion in cases of cash-in-hand jobs and missing trader (carousel) fraud via cum-ex trades to the criminal law aspects of transfer pricing.