Tax offense

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Under tax offense , tax crime , tax fraud , tax infringement , fraud , professionally especially in Austria and financial crime / -vergehen / -delikt , is generally understood to violations of tax law - in German legal language refers to offenses usually less serious, offense all sanctioned with punishment breaches of the law , the Designations as well as the scope of the specific concept of national legislation are diverse. In addition to taxes in general, the term also includes violations of import and export duties, such as customs regulations and the like. Tax crimes are part of white-collar crime . A distinction must be made between tax offenses and tax avoidance .


Examples of tax / financial offenses include:

Offenses such as breaches of tax secrecy (by authorities) are not counted as tax offenses , they are part of public law .

Tax offenses in the classic sense of not paying taxes and duties are already a criminal offense in early modern law and develop completely in the 19th century ( e.g. Austrian criminal law on complicity in 1836). The distinction between tax offense and tax avoidance can be found in England in the 1860s. The first scientific investigations date from the 1960s (e.g. Gary Becker  1968, Economics of crime ) Synonym u. a. the outdated expression defraudation (Latin "defraudare" = to cheat, from fraus, fraudis = fraud, deception, crime, outrage ) stands for customs and tax fraud . In a narrower sense, a defraudant was a person who was guilty of paying public taxes to the state or the municipality, in particular evading customs duties and indirect taxes or public money, e.g. in Hesse and Sweden in the 19th century.

The internationalization of financial trading has resulted in numerous new criminal cases. The lack of international tax law regulations means that there are many intergovernmental agreements on the subject.

Right families

German-speaking legal group


In Germany, tax offenses (tax offenses) include :


The tax law and financial criminal law of Austria differentiate between the following financial offenses (within the meaning of § 1 Paragraph 1 FinStrG, the offenses threatened with a penalty in §§ 33-52, i.e. acts such as omissions):

  • Financial offenses in the area of ​​taxes (tax-financial offenses) :
    • Tax fraud (evasion, smuggling or stealing with falsification of evidence or sham acts, Section 39)
    • Tax evasion (intentional violation of tax obligations, Section 33)
    • Negligent reduction of taxes (failure to pay taxes, interest on arrears, etc. due to carelessness, § 34)
    • Financial offenses (such as non-compliance with deadlines, §§ 49-51)
  • Financial offenses in the area of ​​customs (customs financial offenses) , such as smuggling and evasion of incoming or outgoing taxes  (Section 35) or circumvention of customs clearance ; Negligent shortening of incoming or outgoing taxes  (Section 36), undeclared importation of foreign currency ( violation of obligations in cash transactions  Section 48b), including alcohol and pirated copies
  • In addition, there are tax stealing in both areas (trade in smuggling goods, goods bypassing customs clearance, or goods with reduced taxes, Section 37), violation of the tobacco monopoly ( prohibited manufacture of tobacco products , Section 43; other interventions Sections 44, 45, monopoly stealing  Section 43), violation of security locks and bringing about incorrect proof of preference (change of tax stamps, seals of the authorities, documents, § 48, 48a)

Deliberate financial offenses are crimes within the meaning of Section 17 Paragraph 1 StGB (Section 1 Paragraph 3 FinStrG), commercial offenses and, in particular, gang crime lead to a heavier penalty (Sections 38, 38a FinStrG), the same relapse (Sections 41, 47 FinStrG) and self-inflicted intoxication ( 52 FinStrG).


Swiss criminal tax law distinguishes between the following tax offenses :

Other crimes are about misappropriation of the source control ( Art. 187 DBG) or driving a front company for the purpose of concealing money flows.

Individual evidence

  1. so tax offense, that , Duden online
  2. see financial crime and financial crime ( memento of April 7, 2014 in the Internet Archive ),
  3. cf. en: Tax noncompliance #History
  4. ^ Gary Becker: Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach . (PDF) In: The Journal of Political Economy . 76, 1968, pp. 169-217.
  5. Mayer's large pocket dictionary in 24 volumes. BI paperback publisher. Volume 4, Article Defraudation. ISBN 3-411-11007-4 (complete work) or ISBN 3-411-11047-3 (volume 4)
  6. Defraudant and Defraudation in the Duden
  7. ^ Carl Courtin: General Key to Commercial Terminology: An Encyclopedic Handbook for Merchants and Businessmen. J. Scheible's Buchhandlung, 1834, p. 226 ( online at Google Books )
  8. Handbook of the grand ducal Hessian ordinances from 1803, Volume 3, 1817, pp. 129-134 ( online at Google Books )
  9. ^ Johann Wilhelm David Korth u. a .: Economic encyclopedia or general system of the state, town, house and agriculture in alphabetical order. Volume 150, Poculi, 1824 (Complete Works 1829), p. 424 ( Online at Google Books )
  10. Tax offenses ,
  11. about: Rainer Brandl: Finanzstrafrecht. Systematics and current cases ( memento of April 7, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) . Lecture notes, University of Vienna, March 2012 (pdf,, accessed March 31, 2012);
    Brief overview: The types of financial offenses
    in Austria ( Memento from April 7, 2014 in the
    Internet Archive ) , (term negligent tax evasion is not precise there)
  12. a b The distinction between tax evasion and tax fraud is a Swiss and Austrian peculiarity. Tax fraud and tax evasion ,, accessed March 31, 2014.
  13. Brandl, 2012, p. 13
  14. Criminal tax law in Switzerland: Introduction ,