Identifying and avoiding risks under criminal law
Our advisors in the Compliance and Risk Management team will support you in minimizing risks under tax criminal law and regulatory law for the company itself and for its corporate bodies and employees at all levels, and in eliminating liability risks. It is also important to minimize the risks arising from tax procedural law (fault-based offenses in taxation proceedings, e.g. Secs. 235, 173(2), 169(2) sentence 2, 398a of the German General Tax Code). We support members of corporate bodies with ensuring that the company is organized and supervised in such a way that no violations of the law occur. In cases of risk, a corporate body must, in order to comply with its organizational duty, set up a compliance organization designed to prevent damage and control risk. A suitable compliance system can provide evidence of proper supervision. Not only does this release from liability the person subject to supervision under Sec. 130 of the German Act on Regulatory Offences; it usually also indirectly releases the company, which then typically lacks the causally linked offense required under Sec. 30 of the German Act on Regulatory Offences. Accusations of a breach of supervisory duty can then be countered in a substantiated manner.
Many companies have certain processes in place to ensure compliance with tax obligations. However, in many cases they are not sufficiently formalized and documented. Companies that have documented their existing processes are better prepared to counter accusations of organizational negligence vis-à-vis the authorities in the event of irregularities.
A tax CMS project typically includes:
- Kick-off workshop
- Review and assessment of the existing organization structures
- High-level analysis of the current situation
- Setting the project scope (comprehensive, type(s) of tax covered, facts covered) and identifying areas of risk
- Gap analysis and identifying improvement potential (risk analysis)
- Designing target processes and creating a risk-control matrix
- Adapting and fine-tuning the organization structure
The core project outcome is a documented set of rules containing principles for compliance with tax law, delegation tasks, reporting duties, and the various procedures under tax procedural law and material tax law.
We can also advise on conducting appropriateness tests and effectiveness tests, and the issuing of tax CMS certificates.
Our expertise at a glance
- Investigating the facts at the company
- Employee interviews, e-discovery, email evaluation and on-site investigations in compliance with labor law and data privacy law
- Collecting evidence for use in court (third-party experts)
- Monitoring the collection of personal data
- Comprehensive review to identify any criminal liability
- Deciding when to involve the law enforcement agencies
- Recommendations for conduct in the event of criminal proceedings against the company
- Identifying possible obligations to act under tax law
- Advice on possible measures under labor law
- Advice on legal action and court proceedings
- Responding to official requests for information
- Advice on handling the legal consequences of sanctions and civil proceedings (fines, legal costs, blacklisting)
- Modifying the CMS to prevent future legal violations
- Reviewing the existing CMS and pinpointing weaknesses
- Modifying whistleblower systems