Dawn Raid Guide: Tax authorities

Dawn Raid Guide: Tax authorities
The detection and prosecution of tax evasion is the task of the tax offices, in particular the Tax Fraud Investigation Department and the Fines and Criminal Proceedings Department (BuStra). The public prosecutor can, however, also take up tax evasion cases, in particular if other offences are involved.

The public prosecutor’s office uses the police and BuStra of the Tax Fraud Investigation Department for its investigations. The two authorities often cooperate closely and carry out searches together. The threshold of suspicion for commencing investigations and carrying out searches is relatively low: it is sufficient if specific indications of tax fraud exist. In the event of such a suspicion, the Tax Fraud Investigation Department can carry out dawn raids on suspected persons, as well as at the premises of companies or sometimes even uninvolved third parties. The objective is determining the circumstances by locating and securing evidence. Such searches are unannounced and usually begin in the early morning, which is why they are referred to as “dawn raids” and the authorities search through files, IT systems, archives and individual workstations, as well as private homes.