Self-disclosures by tax evaders are apparently less and less successful. According to a report by the “Rheinische Post”, the number of closed criminal proceedings in this area is clearly declining. This emerges from a response from the federal government to […]
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Self-disclosures by tax evaders are apparently less and less successful. According to a report by the “Rheinische Post”, the number of closed criminal proceedings in this area is clearly declining. This emerges from a response from the federal government to a small request from the Green parliamentary group.
While 16,059 criminal tax proceedings were discontinued in 2011, according to the government, due to voluntary disclosures, the figure was only 11,900 in 2012. In 2010, 16,014 criminal tax proceedings were discontinued after voluntary disclosures. Tax evaders who report themselves to the tax office in a timely and comprehensive manner can avoid a criminal conviction, but have to transfer the evaded taxes plus interest and pay a fine.
In 2013 in particular, the number of voluntary disclosures in all 16 federal states rose, in some cases by leaps and bounds. No information is yet available on the outcome of these proceedings.
“As far as the federal government is aware, a total of ten data CDs have been acquired since 2009,” the government replied. In 2010, the federal states bought three data CDs, one in 2011, four in 2012 and two more tax CDs in 2013 with account information for German citizens from Swiss banks. New negotiations on a “comprehensive revision” of the double taxation agreement with Switzerland would “probably begin in May 2014”, according to the government.
Voluntary disclosure is to be tightened further
In the future, too, it should be more difficult for tax evaders who have changed their mind to get away with a black eye again. Federal Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) announced that the requirements for exemption from punishment would be tightened further. The minister told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung” that the penalty surcharge of five percent, which is due for evaded taxes of more than 50,000 euros, should be increased again. In addition, there is an existing interest rate of six percent. The limitation periods and the period of disclosure should also be extended.
In principle, however, the federal and state governments do not want to shake the voluntary disclosure because the tax authorities subsequently generate high revenues.