North Rhine-Westphalia’s (NRW) Minister of Finance, Walter Borjans, announced in the Rheinischen Post Online that NRW will continue purchasing CDs with data on suspected tax evaders.
GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London - www.grprainer.com/en conclude: The risk of tax evaders being discovered continues to increase. The Finance Minister for North Rhine-Westphalia, Walter Borjans, stated in a conversation with the Rheinischen Post that CDs on tax evaders are to continue being purchased as long as it is guaranteed that Switzerland and other tax havens will supply the German tax authorities with all the necessary documents in the struggle against tax evasion.
The pressure on tax evaders seems to be paying off. According to the report, around 16,500 tax evaders have reported themselves in North Rhine-Westphalia alone since 2010. Most of these reports have come from the Düsseldorf area. In addition to the purchase of CDs on tax evaders, cases featuring prominent tax evaders, the greater willingness to cooperate between Switzerland and other countries and the planned tightening of the rules for amended tax returns have surely also contributed to the increasing number of tax evaders who wish to come clean.
However, they can only receive immunity if they submit the amended tax return on time and it is complete. It must include all relevant tax documents from the past five years so that the tax office can issue a modified tax assessment notice on the basis of this data. If important documents are missing, this may result in the amended tax return being unsuccessful and no longer leading to immunity.
Since each tax evasion case is different, the amended tax return should also not be prepared on one’s own or with the help of standard forms. The risk in this case of the amended tax return being incomplete is high. It is safer to consult lawyers and tax advisors who are competent in the field of tax law. They can assess each case individually and accordingly know which documents need to be presented to the tax office in order for the amended tax return to lead to immunity.
As the rules for amended tax returns are set to be tightened and penalties increased in the coming year, the amended tax return ought to be submitted this year where possible.