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Criminal tax law & self-disclosure

Your contacts

Dr. Guido Holler| holler(at)tigges.legal | 0211 8687-155

Georg Schmidt | schmidt(at)tigges.legall | 0211 8687-175

Matthias Klagge, LL.M. | klagge(at)tigges.legal | 0211 8687-134


Tax offences have not been regarded as peccadilloes for a long time. Precisely in times where the public purse is tight, the state expends substantial energy in pursuing putative tax offenders. Publicly-visible raids and the contentious purchase of tax CDs from Switzerland demonstrate the tax authorities' creativity. At the same time, the legislator is always increasing the citizen's tax burden. Many citizens attempt, therefore, to avoid this burden. Frequently the boundaries of what is permissible are exceeded in those attempts. If this is discovered, or if discovery is imminent, or if this state of affairs is supposed to be legalised, attorney advice is necessary and sensible.

Our team has profound competence and long-standing experience both in tax law and also in criminal law. Thus, we can offer not only a clever and balanced combination of the two legal matters, but rather also a competent representation of our clients in dealings with all tax authorities, public prosecutors and courts.
As a result of the increased activity of prosecution authorities to pursue tax offences - not only in the exchange with Switzerland Liechtenstein, but rather also in cases where, for example, the heirs are supposed to be saved often unbearable burdens with untaxed asset values – the question arises about self-disclosure which discharges criminal liability. In this context, strict requirements, which are repeatedly adjusted by the legislator and the case law, are to be complied with. Successfully using the self-disclosure instrument requires a high level of specialist legal knowledge, which we have available at any time as a result of our double competence in tax law and criminal law.

Even if the criminal liability-discharging effect of self-disclosure is no longer possible, e.g. because the act has already been discovered, there are a multitude of possible ways of minimising the effects of the criminal tax proceedings as much as possible. In many cases, a suspension of the proceedings or the closure of the penalty order proceedings can be achieved, avoiding a detrimental public main hearing for our client.