Tax-related administrative offences

Tax-related administrative offences

The amount of fines imposed for violations of the provisions of the law on administrative offenses ranges from rather modest amounts to amounts that can destroy a person's existence. However, secondary consequences can be even more dangerous than the actual fine, in particular forfeiture pursuant to Section 29a of the Administrative Offenses Act. The extended assessment period of 5 years for reckless tax evasion pursuant to Section 169 (2) Sentence 2 Alt. 2 of the German Fiscal Code (Abgabenordnung). This applies in particular with regard to the normally applicable assessment limitation period of one year for excise duties.

While the number of possible administrative offences is still manageable for the "normal citizen", the occasional realization of an administrative offence can hardly be avoided when acting in the entrepreneurial sphere. Obligations and prohibitions that are subject to fines are spread throughout the entire tax law, mostly somewhat hidden and hard to undercut in terms of comprehensibility.

A significant difference between the law on fiscal offences and the law on fiscal offences lies in the considerable expansion of the group of persons who can be affected by sanctions. The owner of a business or enterprise can himself act in breach of the law by "intentionally or negligently failing to take the supervisory measures necessary to prevent, in the business or enterprise, infringements of duties incumbent upon the owner, the violation of which is punishable by a fine or penalty, [...] if such infringement is committed which would have been prevented or made substantially more difficult by proper supervision." (§ 130 OWiG). There is therefore an obligation to tax compliance that is subject to a fine. This also includes the avoidance of sanctions against the company itself, because unlike (currently still) the criminal tax law, the law on tax offences does not stop at legal entities, associations or partnerships with legal capacity. This is because, if the company's executives etc. commit If criminal offenses or misdemeanors "are committed by which duties affecting the legal person or association of persons have been violated or the legal person or association of persons has been or should have been enriched, a fine may be imposed on them. (§ 30 OWiG). The amount of the possible fine is noteworthy here: "The fine shall be 1. in the case of an intentional criminal offense, up to ten million euros, 2. in the case of a negligent criminal offense, up to five million euros. In the case of a misdemeanor, the maximum amount of the fine shall be determined by the maximum amount of the fine threatened for the misdemeanor. If the law refers to this provision, the maximum amount of the fine shall be increased tenfold in accordance with sentence 2 for the acts specified in the law. Sentence 2 shall also apply in the case of an act that is both a criminal offense and a misdemeanor if the maximum fine imposed for the misdemeanor exceeds the maximum fine under sentence 1." (Section 30 (2) OWiG).

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