The deposits betrayed a businessman, the statute of limitations saved him!

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The audit of the bank accounts of an Athens businessman identified receipts from customers, for which the respective invoices / receipts had not been issued and of course were not recorded in the Company’s books.

However, the Tax Office was late in mobilizing, with the result that the case of the businessman was also barred to be acquitted by the Dispute Resolution Directorate of AADE and to avoid paying tens of thousands of euros in fines.

However, this businessman may have saved it, however, the practice of the tax authorities shows that closely monitor the movements of bank accounts, from two electronic systems and rings a “bell” when credits (or payments) are found, which have not been declared as turnover, as income and have not been registered in any way in the tax books, if it is a business.

The control is done through “Special Wealth Enhancement Control Software”, which correlates primary deposit data with declared income and “Bank Accounts and Payment Accounts Registry System”, which monitors the movements of the bank accounts of the auditee.

In particular, Following an audit order by the Head of the Attica Ministry of Public Works, an audit was carried out on the businessman, following an audit report of the service (Attica Public Employment Agency), according to the conclusion of which it was found non-issuance and inaccurate issuance of tax revenue data, through deposits in bank accounts, for the years 2012, 2013 and 2017. Thus, the auditors issued:

  • Deed of imposition of a fine for the year 2012, by which a fine was imposed 44,515.64 euros, because from the processing of his bank accounts, and from his income book, it was found that in four (4) cases of nominal credits related to his activity, the same number of income tax data were not issued.
  • Imposition of a fine for the year 2013, by which a fine was imposed 4,143.00 euros, because of the processing of his bank accounts and
  • from his income book it was found that in two (2) cases of nominal credits related to his activity no equal amount of income tax data was issued and one (1) income tax item was issued incorrectly.
  • Deed of imposition of a fine by the Head of the Tax Office. Municipality of Athens, year 2017, with which a fine was imposed 578.25 euros, because from the processing of his bank accounts and from his income book, it was found that in one (1) case of nominal credits related to his activity no income tax item was issued and three (3) income tax items were issued for the provision of services to three cases.

Limitation period

The businessman filed an appeal, citing, among other things, the fact that the cases of 2013 and 2012 are statute-barred.

Indeed, the Dispute Resolution Directorate accepted this and extinguished the fines that had been imposed. In its reasoning, TEN notes that based on the case law created by decisions of the Council of State, bank account movements, are not “additional elements” and therefore, even if cases of tax evasion are identified, if they occurred over a period of more than five years, the tax authorities cannot charge taxes and fines.

The CoC ruled that the Tax Office could check the deposits, within five years not statute-barred.

The reasoning of the acquittal of the businessman for tax evasion, due to statute of limitations, is analyzed in the decision of TEN, which is also a “compass” for similar pending cases.

Decision 3802/2021 here

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