Tax Investigation is the special unit within the Anti-Fraud Office for the prosecution of systematic and organised duty or tax evasion, respectively. The central task is the detection and clarification of serious malversations in financial criminal proceedings. These tasks are as a rule carried out as criminal police by means of targeted financial criminal investigation, search and audit measures.
Objectives of the Tax Investigation
- Ensuring optimal combating of fraud in the service of criminal justice
- Combating distortions of competition through malversive acts
- Ensuring the elucidation of fraud scenarios
- Providing uniformity of taxation of taxpayers and safeguarding tax revenue
- Ensuring efficient and risk-oriented combating of fraud
- Ensuring efficient, effective and high-quality investigation and audit activities
- Early detection and prevention of fraudulent schemes
- Ensuring international cooperation in fiscal criminal matters
As a nationwide organisational unit, Tax Investigation is based in Vienna with field offices in the provinces (Upper Austria, Salzburg, Tyrol/Vorarlberg, Carinthia, Styria).
Tax Investigation is organisationally divided into
- Sectorial management with Head of Sector, Head of Legal Support in Sector, legal specialist, organisational management, process supervisor and assistant performance management and controlling
- Legal Support
- Organisation team
- Investigation with 12 investigation teams including 2 teams with a specialisation in combating VAT fraud => Anti-VAT-Fraud Competence Centre (USt-BBCC)
- IT investigation (2 teams)
The investigation team conducts financial criminal investigations on behalf of the Public Prosecutor’s Office or jointly with the Criminal Matters Sector, respectively, in accordance with the Austrian Fiscal Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The tasks of Tax Investigation as an operational financial criminal investigation unit include the tasks:
- Conducting investigative measures and taking evidence in accordance with the regulations and provisions of the Austrian Fiscal Penal Code. This includes, inter alia, the execution of coercive measures (house search, observation, arrest, telephone surveillance) as well as the corresponding questioning of accused persons or witnesses according to the order of the Public Prosecutor’s Offices in judicial proceedings.
- Preparation of reports to the Public Prosecutor’s Office as provided for in § 100 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
- Carrying out or participating in audit measures ordered pursuant to § 99 II of the Austrian Fiscal Penal Code.
- Handling of requests for administrative and judicial assistance in fiscal criminal matters, if and insofar as these do not fall within the competence of the Customs Authority Austria.
- Carrying out investigative actions for the purpose of preventing and detecting contraventions of the legal provisions to be enforced by the Tax Authority Austria.
- Carrying out revenue safeguarding measures in accordance with the provisions of the Austrian Tax Procedure Law and the Austrian Tax Execution Code in case of clear and present danger.
- Evaluation and analysis of evidence and data.
In carrying out this task, the Legal Support Unit supports the search with its legal expertise and carries out appropriate quality assurance, the findings of which in turn flow into knowledge management in a targeted manner.
Anti-VAT-Fraud Competence Centre (USt-BBCC)
For the operational fight against VAT fraud, there are two specialised investigation teams in Tax Investigation with this focus (1 team in Vienna, 1 in Linz/Innsbruck/Feldkirch).
By concentrating know-how and bundling human resources, VAT fraud can be combated in a targeted manner.
In terms of a one-stop-shop processing of VAT fraud cases, the VAT BBCC serves
- to ensure uniform application of the law
- for bundling of audit and investigation know-how under one roof
- to build up expertise (especially in operational application)
- for reduction of interfaces
- for effective fight against VAT fraud
Specialised IT investigators in 2 IT investigation teams are available to Tax Investigation for forensic preservation of data and analysis of electronic data. The IT investigators provide support especially in the areas of
- forensic preservation of evidence
- securing of network data
- further forensic treatment, analysis and archiving of this evidence