Fiscal Self-Indictment in Düsseldorf and Vicinity
According to non-official figures the cases of fiscal self-indictments (Selbstanzeige) in Düsseldorf and the Rhineland as well as in total Germany have gone up considerably in the last 12 months. One can only assume that this is related to several actions of federal and local German governments (acquisition of tax CDs, re-negotiation of DTAs, failure of the tax agreement with Switzerland, press campaigns against prominent individuals like Klaus Zumwinkel or Uli Hoeneß) which jointly intend to stir up holders of foreign bank accounts in order to make them reveal these accounts. In such case one should at least let check by a professional whether a self-indictment should be made, which not necessarily must be the case.
The legal demands of an effective self-indictment are defined in sec. 371 and 398a AO (Tax Act). It is important that, on the one Hand, a complete self-indictment is made and not just a partial one, that one has to pay an extra 5 per cent as Penalty tax if the tax fraud surpasses the sum of Euro 50,000 and that the self-indictment is not excluded by special circumstances. Such circumstances are given if the official has already come to the tax payer in order to check his books or if the tax authority has already anounced a tax audit for the critical year. Even in such a situation, however, the whole set of facts should be checked in detail in order to be able to take a rational and objective decision.
A proper self-indictment leads to a complete amnesty of the tax payer. Therefore, he is not treated like a criminal which complies fully with the will of the legislator and all political parties in Germany and which complies also with the political Consensus of the last decades. As a consequence, the tax payer hat to pay “only” the penalty tax (s.a.) the tax arrears and interest of 6 per cent p.a. As the affected period of time is 11 years a considerable amount can result. Here, one should calculate in time if and how the necessary means to pay can be made available.
Details should be prepared and executed only in close co-operation with a specialised tax attorney