StartCriminal tax lawVoluntary Self-DisclosureCorrection of Income Tax Registration

Correction of Income Tax Registration

Income tax is a so-called withholding tax on income from gainful employment. According to section 39b EStG [German Income Tax], every employer is required to withhold taxes on income and salaries and to pay such over to the tax office. According to section 41a sub-section 1 EStG, the employer is required to report the withheld or flat wage tax to the tax office and to pay such over on time by the 10th day after the end of every income tax registration period. In addition, this obligation also applies to church tax and the solidarity surcharge. Social security contributions also have to be withheld and paid over to the German pension insurance accordingly.

The complexity and error susceptibility of the income tax registration process is frequently connected with the need of - at times - repeated changes in the registration towards the tax office.

The legislator tightened the rules regarding voluntary disclosure under section 371 AO in the Law Combating Illicit Earnings from 2011 (German Federal Gazette I 2011, p. 676), as a result of which the criminal tax law risks in the event of a correction of omitted or incorrect declarations have increased significantly. Moreover, in the Law amending the Tax Code with effect as of January 1st, 2015 (German Federal Gazette I 2014, p. 2415) the legislator tightened these provisions, while some of the provisions were eased again. For example, the added section 371 sub-section 2a AO, e.g., provides for an exception from the so-called requirement of completeness of intra-year income tax registrations. Nonetheless, the correction of income tax registrations involves criminal law risks which should not be disregarded.

LHP Note: In order to avoid criminal law risks, the correction of income tax registrations should be avoided right from the outset, if possible. Therefore, the previously common approach of accepting repeated corrections of income tax registrations from the outset can no longer be recommended in spite of the re-introduced legal relieves. Because of the tightened provisions on self-disclosure which are hard to understand for people not familiar with criminal tax law, corrections can involve considerable risks for the employers concerned. Our consultation practice has shown that the problems connected with a correction can often not be resolved satisfactorily without professional correction management.

Delay or incorrect income tax report

Correction of the income tax registration in cases of premeditated tax evasion

Conditions for the effectiveness of a voluntary self-disclosure to avoid penalty

Correction of registration in cases of reckless tax reduction

Correction of registration in cases of simple negligence

As lawyers and specialist attorneys for tax and criminal law, we have specific know-how in dealing with tax criminal law proceedings of all kinds. In processing a criminal tax law matter, you can also benefit from our long-standing experience in working with the investigation authorities, the departments of public prosecution and the courts of law. We help you to both prevent the accusation of a tax offence and effectively defend against such. In this process, a correction of preliminary tax reports should be planned and implemented quickly but with a view for all essential items. In our consulting practice, most problems can frequently be resolved through a consultation in an individual case.


LHP: Attorneys at Law, Tax Law Specialists, Tax Advisers PartmbB


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


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Telephone: +41 44 212 3535

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