Tax audit in companies: This is how prevention works

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A question that surely comes up with every desperate business owner when he feels the breath of the tax auditor on the neck: What possibilities does the tax office have to get relevant information? And how can I protect myself from being checked by the tax office. Tips and measures to minimize the risk of an audit.

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Reinhard Schinkel 58Is Reinhard Schinkel according to Handelsblatt one of Germany's best tax advisors and specialist author for tax law.


From the author:




The tax office uses databases

First and foremost, the information base is, of course, the tax files operated by the tax office. On the basis of these documents, the main focus will be set.

In addition, the auditors can access databases. These can be internal and have general information characteristics (eg LUNA country-wide name query important for dispatching control messages).

Or are specially arranged for individual information (eg spell database for the storage of sales tax fraud), or are managed by other authorities (eg commercial register).

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General information as part of the tax file

Control messages are sent by other tax offices and become part of the tax file. The findings of an external tax investigation or audit may even give reason to conduct a tax audit.

General information can also be used as an examination material. This can be for example the Ebay account, or the weather data.

Survey of employees and information from banks

The survey of other employees during the examination is more or less uncommonly true. In order for naturalmente to be involved is the inspection and inspection.

A troublesome issue is the request for information to banks. There is no bank secrecy to the financial authorities. The banks are, in principle, required to provide information. In this case, account retrieval is to be mentioned.

Test purchases and anonymous ads

More likely to settle an espionage film but nothing at all is a preliminary investigation are so-called test purchases, for example to check the tax bases presented by the taxpayer (gastronomy).

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Of course, particularly explosive are the anonymous ads, betrayed lovers, divorced wives (or men), or envious business partners. Depending on the detail of the information disclosed in the ad, these ads may also result in an audit.

What situations should be avoided?

First, you should know the specific circumstances / occasions under which the tax office looks closely - and therefore are typical situations that should be avoided. Special circumstances or occasions for an exam could be:

  • High cash deposits in operating assets with low private assets at the same time.
  • Losses over several years.
  • Asset growth without corresponding income.
  • The profit does not cover the normal cost of living.
  • The income is out of proportion to the (expensive) lifestyle.
  • The profit does not correspond to the branch average: profit ratios
  • Strong sales fluctuations for no apparent reason.
  • Deposit or withdrawal of real estate (real estate valuation) into or out of operating assets.
  • Task of operation or change of legal form.
  • Tax obligations are not fulfilled or not punctually, such as VAT pre-registrations.
  • Previous audits led to significant tax payments.

Attention risk analysis of the tax office

What should be respected as an entrepreneur in order not to be noticed in the so-called risk analysis of the tax authorities?

  • periodic submission of declarations and profits within the statutory levy period
  • No noticeable high tax payments or reimbursements in the assessment

Tips for minimizing risk

What else can I do to avoid a tax audit? Some tips:

  • For example, VAT, preferring to submit a corrected sales tax prepayment for the December of the year, as the claim / credit balance with the annual declaration
  • For example income tax / corporation tax / trade tax
  • Apply an early adjustment application or make a request for additional payment (5 prepayment) in the case of high payments. This also has the advantage of a possible interest obligation to avoid.

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