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Audit by Tax Investigations: Search of Premises by the Tax Investigator

Search of premises by the tax investigator - immediate assistance and discreet advice in Cologne: Legal assistance and defence by LHP Attorneys at Law.

The tax investigator usually turns up by surprise. You can prevent mistakes at this point by immediately instructing one of our defence attorneys. The work of a defence attorney begins immediately, contrary to other criminal offences. The tax investigator should be made aware, that all measures taken by him will be scrutinised. A competent defence attorney should be instructed in criminal tax matters as early as possible in order to develop a defence strategy. This is because in many cases, the path for a later mitigation of the penalty is paved at the commencement of the proceedings.

We take the stress caused for our client by proceedings being commenced against him into account by conducting the matters discreetly and sensibly, in particular following a psychologically stressful search of premises by the tax investigator. What follows is a period of apparent uncomfortable silence, in which the tax inspector assesses the seized documentation. We are familiar with such situations and are at your side with sound advice.  

  • It often helps to be made aware of the fact, that the ticking of the clock in criminal tax proceedings is usually to the advantage of our client. The strong emotional attachment of a tax inspector with “his” case after the search of premises gradually subsides. At the same time, the pressure to finalise a case increases. This means that Tax Authority becomes more motivated to settle a case.
  • We will certainly explain the foreseeable course of the proceedings to you. It is important to prevent your imagination running wild during this period of calm and uncertainty, and we will discuss the worst possible outcome with you and explain the available options for a voluntary self-disclosure.

Recommendations for conduct in the case of an audit by the tax investigator:

1. Emergency: Tax investigations - remain calm!

2. Search warrant or imminent danger?

3. Prevent external effects

4. What authorities does the tax inspector have?

5. Silence is golden!

6. Do not leave the tax inspectors unattended.

7. Insist on seizure

8. Documentation is important

Check-list for tax investigations:

  1. Keep calm.
  2. Request to see the search warrant.
  3. Write down the names of the tax investigators.
  4. Inform your attorney/tax adviser.
  5. Avoid attracting attention. Ask the tax investigator to step into a separate room.
  6. Do not give any factual information.
  7. Do not leave the tax investigators unattended.
  8. Do not furnish documents voluntarily. Insist on seizure. Copy all documents which are necessary to maintain business operations.
  9. Request a detailed schedule of seized documentation.
  10. Write up a protocol of the search from your memory.
LHP: Attorneys at Law, Tax Law Specialists, Tax Advisers PartmbB


An der Pauluskirche 3-5, 50677 Cologne,
Telephone: +49 221 39 09 770


Tödistrasse 53, CH-8027 Zurich,
Telephone: +41 44 212 3535

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