Tax Office for Fees, Transfer Taxes and Gambling in the anti-fraud context
Finanzamt für Gebühren, Verkehrsteuern und Glücksspiel im Rahmen der Betrugsbekämpfung
Purchase of real estate
Party representatives – self-calculation of real estate transfer tax
A central field of local risk management is the monitoring and observation of those professional groups that handle third-party funds – in order to detect impending tax shortfalls at an early stage and prevent damage to taxpayers (double payment of the real estate transfer tax) as far as possible.
The risk management process developed for this purpose is firmly implemented, and the behaviour of the party representatives is regularly monitored, in order to take appropriate measures promptly in the event of any anomalies. The catalogue of measures ranges from telephone-based support through sending of information material, support through advice in the firm, checking, enforcement of arrears, written threat of withdrawal of the power of self-calculation to the withdrawal of these powers for at least 3 years.
Through the risk management process, the behaviour of the party representatives is regularly monitored in order to take appropriate measures promptly in the event of any anomalies.
On a positive note, half of the appeals pending before the Federal Tax Court against the revocation of the self-assessment authority were decided in 2018. In all the cases, the complaints were rejected, and the legal opinion of the tax office was confirmed.
Real estate trading – intersections with real estate income tax and income tax
The Tax Office for Fees, Transfer Taxes and Gambling (Finanzamt für Gebühren, Verkehrsteuern und Glücksspiel, FAGVG) is responsible for examining self-calculations of real estate transfer tax for professional representatives of the parties, as well as for examining self-calculated real estate income tax with final settlement effect.
In the course of these inspections, a large number of individuals were identified where there was reason to believe that land was bought and sold on a commercial scale, i.e. that commercial property trading was to be assumed and that the Real Estate Profits Tax (Immobilienertragsteuer, Immo-ESt) had not been applied.
In many cases it turned out that the persons involved had hardly any significant income or were, for example, in receipt of unemployment benefits.
A particular focus in the fight against fraud through the FAGVG is the area of illegal gambling. While companies with the appropriate concessions or permits regularly meet their obligations under tax law and are under constant supervision by a separate department in the FAGVG, entrepreneurs without the appropriate permits are increasingly trying to conduct their business unnoticed by the authorities. At the same time, attempts are being made to conceal turnover, locations, device functions and the people actually in control.
The FAGVG regularly evaluates incoming control notices from the Financial Police as well as reports from private individuals or institutions, in order to find necessary information on gambling offers, locations, numbers of machines and turnover, which provide important calculation and estimation bases for the gambling audits to be carried out.
Activity of the Operational Gambling Audit (Operative Glücksspielprüfung, OGP)
The Operative Gambling Examination (Operative Glücksspielprüfung, OGP) established in the FAGVG, operates nationwide. In some cases, investigations under tax law are carried out for the FAGVG, or other organisational units (Financial Police, Tax Fraud Investigation Unit or state police directorates) are supported in carrying out their tasks. In the course of these official acts, facts relevant to tax law are regularly established which serve as the basis for the necessary estimation procedures in subsequent external audits. The missions are quite demanding. Thus, time and again access to the places of inspection must be enforced with administrative command and coercive power. Many of the places of inspection are also secured with fog and irritant gas systems, which must first be disabled when the operation begins.