Principles of data access and the verifiability of digital documents

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Basic data
Title: Principles of data access and
the verifiability of digital documents
Abbreviation: GDPdU
Type: Administrative regulation
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Issued on the basis of: Art. 108 para. 7 GG
Legal matter: Tax law , tax procedural law
References : BMF IV D 2 - S 0316 - 136/01
Issued on: July 16, 2001
( BStBl. I p. 415)
Entry into force on: January 1, 2002
Expiry: January 1, 2015
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The principles for data access and the verifiability of digital documents ( GDPdU ) contain rules for the storage of digital documents and for the duty of taxpayers to cooperate in tax audits .

This is an administrative instruction from the Federal Ministry of Finance in which it specifies certain legal norms from the tax code and the sales tax law for the digital storage of bookkeeping, accounting documents and invoices .

The GDPdU were replaced by the GoBD on January 1st, 2015.

Taxpayer's duty to cooperate in data access by tax auditors

If a tax audit requires access to data that is stored by the taxpayer, the tax auditor can choose between the following three types of data access according to GDPdU:

  • direct read access (Z1),
  • indirect access via evaluations (Z2) and
  • Transfer of data carriers in various formats (Z3).

The auditor does not have the right to install his own software on the taxpayer's systems.

Various formats are permitted for data media transfer. In the meantime, the Federal Ministry of Finance has also issued a recommendation for a corresponding description standard. The auditor can then read the data into auditor software.

Compliance with these regulations is a prerequisite for the approval of the outsourcing of electronic books and other necessary documents abroad. Since December 20, 2008, § 146 Paragraph 2b of the Tax Code provides for a delay payment of EUR 2,500 to EUR 250,000 for companies that do not meet the requirements of the GDPdU .


  • Kruger, Ralph; Schult, Bernd; Vedder, Rainer: Digital auditing: GDPdU in practice - principles for data access and the verifiability of digital documents, Gabler Verlag, 2010, ISBN 978-3-8349-0676-2
  • Eller, Peter: Electronic invoicing and digital tax audits . Electronic Commerce and Law, Volume 8. ERICH SCHMIDT VERLAG, 2004, ISBN 3-503-07408-2
  • Ernst & Young (Ed.): Tax Risk Management . Stollfuß Verlag, 2005, ISBN 3-08-210001-5 (all relevant legal passages in German and English)
  • Flamm, Markus: The digital tax audit is coming . DATEV book series, order number 36212
  • Flamm, Markus: Tax auditor with X-ray vision - What the bookkeeping reveals . DATEV book series, order number 36068
  • Henstorf, Karl-Georg, Kampffmeyer, Ulrich , Prochnow, Jan: Principles of procedural documentation according to GoBS . Code of Practice Volume 2. VOI Association of Organizational and Information Systems e. V., Bonn, 1999, ISBN 3-932898-04-4
  • Hentschel, Bernd (Hrsg.): Digital tax audit - eData access of the financial administration . 2nd revised edition 2004, DATAKONTEXT-FACHVERLAG, ISBN 3-89577-325-5
  • Wendland, Holger: New archiving obligations according to the amended AO 2002. Continuously expanded collection. Forum Verlag Herkert, 86504 Merching
  • Wenzig, Herbert: External audit / company audit. GRÜNE REIHE Volume 12, 9th edition 2004, Erich Fleischer Verlag, ISBN 3-8168-1129-9

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: GDPdU  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Digital management: From the GDPdU to the GoBD | DATEV. Retrieved on March 17, 2020 (German).