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Criminal law relating to tax offences, voluntary disclosure in the event of tax evasion


German tax law is one of the most complicated laws in the world. Consequently, legal tax structuring and illegal tax evasion lie side by side. This applies to both private individuals and companies. In the case of private individuals, it frequently concerns the treatment of foreign bank accounts or other untaxed income (for example, resulting from self-employment). In the case of companies, legal violations may also be uncovered during audits. These often relate to income tax or VAT. The basic rule of thumb is "avoid conflict". If, however, such a conflict has just arisen, it is important to analyse the situation and systematically plan the next steps.

For the past 20 years, KONLUS has successfully advised clients on matters pertaining to tax evasion and tax offences. We provide discreet, targeted support to clients (both private individuals and companies) in this difficult situation. Often, conflicts can be resolved with the tax offices before criminal proceedings for tax offences are initiated. Our experienced staff guide clients who have detected errors in the taxation of their income through the process of immunity from criminal prosecution by means of a voluntary disclosure.

In an effort to avoid criminal proceedings for tax offences, we provide full and comprehensive preventive consultancy. In other words, we analyse your individual situation and detect risks. In the next step, we must consider these risks, develop solutions, and draft a plan to avoid future risks. In addition, we offer discreet and comprehensive advice on tax evasion and work with you to develop potential solutions. Such scenarios frequently lead to a voluntary disclosure. An examination of the conditions necessary for a voluntary disclosure as well as preparation of the requisite supplementary tax returns are quickly and discreetly undertaken by our experienced employees.

Our range of services includes:

  • Comprehensive advice, submission of a voluntary disclosure to avoid penalty and the preparation of supplementary tax returns.
  • Within the context of voluntary disclosures, we deal, in particular, with supplementary tax returns in relation to capital income. In particular, these concern:
    • Non-transparent funds,
    • Black funds,
    • Certificates for securities and precious metals,
    • Funds with interim profits,
    • Wrapped securities (insurance wrapper),
    • Over-the-counter transactions,
    • Other foreign capital income.
  • Providing emergency assistance during tax fraud investigations.
  • Coordinating procedures under tax law and the criminal law relating to tax offences.
  • Assisting in audits and conducting opposition proceedings in accordance with the criminal law relating to tax offences.
  • Preparing reports on tax issues and their relevance to the criminal law relating to tax offences.

Information on voluntary disclosures

In the case of voluntary disclosures in accordance with § 371 of the German Fiscal Code (AO), the criminal law relating to tax offences has a special feature whereby, in the event of tax fraud or tax evasion, it is possible to eliminate, under certain circumstances, the offence of tax evasion in retrospect.

With a voluntary disclosure and the timely supplementary payment of taxes due, the tax defaulter can escape penalty. However, to achieve immunity from criminal prosecution, defined rules must be observed when submitting the voluntary disclosure. Otherwise, a poorly prepared voluntary disclosure may create more problems than it can solve. An incomplete voluntary disclosure (for example, in the Uli Hoeneß case) shall be deemed null and void.

In the case of concealment of foreign capital income, we do not require bank records initially. After an initial meeting, we will discreetly contact your (foreign) bank. We can guarantee the safe receipt of such documentation. 

Process for a voluntary disclosure

  • Personal discussion: Together, we obtain an overview of the situation and discuss the opportunities and risks associated with a voluntary disclosure.
  • Examine reasons that could hamper an (effective) voluntary disclosure
  • Initial estimate of the expected supplementary tax payment so that liquidity can be ensured
  • A further meeting to discuss the amount and timing of the estimated tax liability
  • Detailed determination of the tax liability, incl. taking into consideration whether limitation periods apply
  • Preparation of a voluntary disclosure by KONLUS
  • Submission of a voluntary disclosure to the tax authorities
  • Tax payment (immunity only possible if a full tax payment is made)
  • Review of tax assessments and guidance for the next steps






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Criminal law relating to tax offences, voluntary disclosure