Criminal law relating to VAT

Specialist knowledge for precautionary measures and criminal defence

The tax authorities are paying increasing attention to VAT. During the course of special VAT audits and inspections they are uncovering more errors than ever before which at the very least results in the recovery of tax. However, the consequences of mistakes are often much more dramatic. Since VAT operations are a high-volume business, comparatively “small” mistakes can quickly escalate and in cases which involve very high amounts there is always the risk of investigations leading to criminal and administrative sanctions. The imposition of custodial sentences (suspended or not) is by no means unusual.

As far as the intersection between VAT and criminal law is concerned, we believe that “prevention is the best cure”. By performing a thorough examination of VAT processes, we help you identify and avoid the risk of criminal offences or non-compliance and provide legal certainty when dealing with the authorities.
A high degree of VAT knowledge – from inspections to the main hearing.

If problems have already occurred and your company is being investigated, we can defend your interests before the competent authorities and courts.


  • Advice on how to avoid committing tax offences relating to VAT
  • Analysis and improvement of processes relating to VAT (VAT health checks, internal control system)
  • Expert opinions and preparatory advice as well as support during special VAT audits and VAT-inspections
  • Judicial and non-judicial representation and defence in proceedings concerning financial disputes and tax offences
  • Advice concerning the VAT aspects of criminal proceedings (substantive VAT law plays a crucial role – from the investigation to the main hearing) 
  • Advisors on criminal defence

Recommended literature (German only)

Adick, Höink, Kurt: Umsatzsteuer und Strafrecht. Strafrechtliche Aspekte im Umsatzsteuer- und Zollrecht. C.F. Müller, 2016.