Zollamt asking for income information.

5 posts in this topic

Back in September 2016 I purchased a car in the UK and brought it over to Germany as I was moving into a new house and needed some transport for a while. I was stopped by a random check in October and thought nothing of it as I was aware of the 6 month and 1 year rule. Additionally, I am doppelansässigkeit and sometimes the car was back at my UK address and sometimes I had it in Germany. After a number of communications I was asked to pay vehicle tax which I subsequently did in 2018 and assumed the matter was over. It was therefore a surprise when this week I received another letter from the Zollamt informing me they would drop the criminal proceedings of driving a non German road taxed vehicle if I pay a fine and to calculate this they need my income details:  "Zur Beendigung des Steuerstrafverfahren wegen Steuerhinterziehung [§ 370 (1) Nr. 2 Abgabenordnung] biete ich ihnen an, das Verfahren gegen Zahlung einer Auflage (Geldbuße) einzustellen. Hierzu benötige ich zur Berechnung der Auflage das Ihnen zur Verfügung stehende Nettoeinkommen. Anderenfalls muss ich Ihr Einkommen schätzen." My questions are, do I provide my income details as this is Personnal Private Data (GDPR)? If yes, do I provide details from 2016 or now as it has changed quite a bit? Lastly, how do they calculate a fine from your income? Does anyone know or has had a similiar experience? Or perhaps I should challenge the process but having been in Germany a while I know that can be costly and not guaranteed! :-)

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so, I did some Googleing...

even if we assume that you knowingly didn't pay your Kfz-Steuer for 2016 and 2018, or even since 2016 until now, your fine would not be based on your income, but rather just be whatever the amount of tax you owe plus 6 %. (if we assume correctly that the total amount of taxes you owe is below 50.000,- €)

 

https://www.transparent-beraten.de/schadensfall-lexikon/steuerhinterziehung-strafe/

 

and this here:

https://www.rechtslupe.de/strafrecht/steuerstrafrecht/kraftfahrzeugsteuerhinterziehung-durch-die-widerrechtliche-autonutzung-3128042

 

In short: don't give them your income information, get a lawyer.

 

Good luck

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Thanks Karin, I checked the links but if anything it confused me more. My argument is that I did not pay the tax as I was using my UK vehicle while moving houses and transporting the regular IKEA and Bauhaus things required when you buy a brand new house! I was still in the 6 month exemption period for tax and this could be a year if the vehicle is not kept in Germany permanently. My vehicle is sometimes in the UK and sometimes Germany. When I was made aware of the tax I paid it but was also told that as I am dual resident and the car is in both countries I do not need to re-register it in Germany. If I understand correctly repaying the owed tax is one thing and in addition you have committed a criminal offence by not paying it! The Zollamt want to drop the criminal charge if I pay a fine. What confuses me more is that why do I have to pay a fine if they want to drop the charges!

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28 minutes ago, SexyBeast said:

What confuses me more is that why do I have to pay a fine if they want to drop the charges!

No: they offer you to pay a fine, and in return they drop the charges (this is what das Verfahren gegen Zahlung einer Auflage (Geldbuße) einzustellen means). You can refuse. But before you do that, consult a lawyer: if you refuse, and the issue will go to the court, and they fill convict you, they will estimate your income in a very unfavorable way to you, and the fine will be way higher+court costs.

 

Maybe a lawyer will be able to drop the charges for you, but if you do not have legal insurance it will costs money to you.

 

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After a number of communications I was asked to pay vehicle tax which I subsequently did in 2018 and assumed the matter was over.

Did you get German number plates? Because if not, the issue was definitely not over.

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Thanks yourkeau, now I understand and having previously paid a lawyer a lot and got not a lot back I think I will inform them of my income. With regards the German plates, my situation was assessed and as the car is used in both the UK and Germany as well as other EU countries I have an official exemption from registering the vehicle here. However, because I am also a German resident (as well as UK) I must pay the vehicle tax if I use it here at all.

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