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58According to the Handelsblatt, Reinhard Schinkel is one of Germany's best tax consultants and specialist author for tax law. Schinkel was born in Berlin in 1970. Two days after being appointed tax advisor, he founded his own law firm in 2007 and embarked on the adventure of self-employment. Since 2009 he has published various books as a specialist book author. Since 2011 he has been writing on a monthly basis for the renowned business magazine Fuchsbriefe from Berlin, and since 2016 his comments have been published in the magazine Agrarbetrieb. He is a managing partner in the tax consultancy company HSP STEUER Berlin Südost, true to the credo of "passionate tax consultants". More information at www.hsp-steuerberater-berlin-suedost.de All texts by Reinhard Schinkel.

Avoiding tax audits & back payments as a company: This is how prevention & prevention works [+ checklists]

For Company she is the most unlovable thing that can happen to them: a tax audit. It can meet anyone, from small business owners to large corporations and even employees. But what can be done about it?

The tax office uses databases

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.

First and foremost, the information basis is of course the tax file kept by the tax office. The main points of the examination are determined on the basis of the documents available. In addition, the auditors can access databases. These can be internal and have general informational character (e.g. LUNA country-wide name query important for sending 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).

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.

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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).

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.

Checklist: Preventing Tax Audits: Which Situations Should You Avoid?

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.

Checklist: Attention, risk analysis by the tax office

What should an entrepreneur pay attention to in order not to attract attention in the so-called risk analysis of the tax office? What else can you do to avoid a tax audit? Some tips:

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

What to do if the exam is ordered? Strategies and first aid against the tax audit

The test arrangement is on the table and it can only take days before the examiner appears. What measures help now so that the examination does not lead to an evil awakening or relatively stress-free?

In addition: tax audit is not the same as tax audit. After all, German tax law is allegedly comparable in complexity to quantum physics. And many different instances can carry out an audit - eg the social insurance and employment agency.

social Security audit

In the social security examination, the correct discharge of social security contributions (social security contributions) is checked on a random basis. The examination is carried out by the Deutsche Rentenversicherung. This also checks on behalf of the health insurance companies.

The results are communicated to the health insurances and they issue corresponding notices of additional claims. The test period is usually 4 years. Every company that employs employees subject to social insurance is audited.

The main focus of an SV examination are:

  • Examination pay
  • bogus self-employment
  • Slightly employed / short-term employees
  • Künstlersozialabgabe

The examination by the employment agency

The job review by the employment agency is intended to detect and prevent illegal employment, misuse of services, undeclared work and unauthorized employment of foreigners. For this purpose, the labor offices and main tax offices shall check whether social benefits are or have been unduly received.

It can be a routine check or a suspicion check. The exam takes place spontaneously, without prior notice. The personal details of all employees present are recorded. Later, the data of the employees present are compared with the wage and social security registration certificates, either in the company or with the tax advisor.

Preventive measures that you can perform:

  • Compliance with the social security reporting obligations.
  • Copy copy of the employee's social security card to the documents
  • Caution: In the case of employment in the construction, catering, accommodation, passenger and freight transport sectors, in the fairground and building cleaning industry, the social insurance certificate must also be provided with a photograph, constantly accompanied by the staff and presented to the examiners upon request.
  • Instant notification for these employees on the day of employment
  • Foreigners outside the EC area may only work with a valid work permit or work permit.

Prevention between arrangement and start of examination

The examination order should be examined for admissibility and eventual prescription of the test periods and, if appropriate, an appeal may be lodged. Review relevant contracts for completeness and completeness. If these can no longer be found in advance, obtain replacement (eg from the other contract partner).

In consultation with the tax consultant, make preliminary assessments on the basis of previous examinations or industry experience and try to eliminate ambiguities (eg deviations from the guideline sets).

Inform employees and self-report

The employees should be informed about the examination and the appointment, who is a concrete contact person? All other employees should not communicate with the examiner if possible.

Attention! The self-indication is no longer possible after receipt of the test arrangement! Only if it succeeds in getting the examination order out of the world, the way to self-display would be free again.

However, at best, the judicial declaration of invalidity can completely eliminate the examination order. Anyone who has strong nerves, despite examining order quickly from a self-report and plays the financial management with regard to the forthcoming audit of the travelers from the valley of the clueless.

The trick with the delivery makes the self-display possible

If you claim that you did not receive the audit plan at all, the financial administration would have to prove your access to you. Only the taxation system notified to the taxpayer is effective.

So far, the audit orders are usually sent by the tax authorities with a simple letter. So she can not provide this proof in case of doubt. The tax office will therefore have to send a renewed examination order and ensure proof of access by means of formal service.

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2 answers to "Tax auditing & avoiding back payments as a company: This is how prevention & prevention works [+ checklists]"

  1. Liane Wolffgang says:

    Series - When the auditor rings twice: How do you protect yourself from a tax audit ?: Today I come to the Ke ...

  2. Simone Janson says:

    Series - When the examiner rings twice: How do you protect yourself from a tax audit?

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