Going clean - Missing tax declaration

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A friend of mine moved to Germany a few years ago. During the first couple of years, she worked as a freelancer but did not make any steps towards paying taxes. To be honest, I am not even sure if and what she had to pay, maybe her income was way too low to even pay anything. She has now been working as an employee of an organisation. It seems that there have been no consequences, but there is always the fear of getting caught or of having further complications down the road.

 

It is clear that the decision of not researching this lead to stress, so let's please keep this out of the discussion. My question is, how would you go about correcting this? Should she consult an accountant / a lawyer / both? Would there be any consequences? Is this going to stay in her record or can she get away with it? Could this information reach her current or future employers?

 

Thank you for your time and answers.

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I'd say it depends what constitutes a few years... but generally most countries are a little more lenient if people come forward on their own AND pay the back-taxes. I'd start by consulting an accountant who will be able to give more guidance on whether he'd recommend an attorney (based on how many years, income, etc.) - but I doubt income was SO low that she wouldn't have to pay taxes - I mean she was surviving on it I assume. 

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4 hours ago, FlatronL1917 said:

A friend of mine moved to Germany a few years ago. During the first couple of years, she worked as a freelancer but did not make any steps towards paying taxes. To be honest, I am not even sure if and what she had to pay, maybe her income was way too low to even pay anything. She has now been working as an employee of an organisation. It seems that there have been no consequences, but there is always the fear of getting caught or of having further complications down the road.

 

It is clear that the decision of not researching this lead to stress, so let's please keep this out of the discussion. My question is, how would you go about correcting this? Should she consult an accountant / a lawyer / both? Would there be any consequences? Is this going to stay in her record or can she get away with it? Could this information reach her current or future employers?

 

Thank you for your time and answers.

 I guess she should take an expert's service on this. This member @PandaMunich, who is a tax consultant helped me out in my case

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Thank you for the answers. Yes, the health insurance history should be ok. I will advise her to talk to a tax consultant then.

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On 24/02/2020, 15:20:35, FlatronL1917 said:

how would you go about correcting this? Should she consult an accountant / a lawyer / both?

 

Contact a Steuerberater, preferably one that also speaks her native language, to do a Selbstanzeige, see §371 AO (in English):  https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_ao/englisch_ao.html#p2634

 

On 24/02/2020, 15:20:35, FlatronL1917 said:

Would there be any consequences?

 

She would have to pay the tax on the evaded income and 6% interest per year on the tax.

 

On 24/02/2020, 15:20:35, FlatronL1917 said:

Is this going to stay in her record or can she get away with it?

 

There will be no criminal record.

So yes, she will get away with it.

 

On 24/02/2020, 15:20:35, FlatronL1917 said:

Could this information reach her current or future employers?

 

No.

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