Violation of the Tax Secret

Violation of the Tax Secret in Europe

Violation of the Tax Secret in Germany

Provisions relating to violation of the tax secret in the German Criminal Code [1]: This criminal issue is covered by Chapter Thirty, under the heading “Offences Committed in Public Office,” located in Section 355 Violation of the tax secret, which reads: (1) Whosoever unlawfully discloses or uses circumstances of another which became known to him as a public official in an administrative proceeding or a judicial proceeding in tax matters; in a criminal proceeding because of a tax offence or in a proceeding to impose a summary fine because of a summary tax offence; on another occasion through a communication by a revenue authority or through the statutorily prescribed submission of a tax-assessment notice or a certificate concerning the findings made at the time of taxation; or 1. the business or trade secret of another that became known to him as a public official in one of the proceedings listed under No 1 above 2. shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding two years or a fine. (2) The following shall be equivalent to a public official within the meaning of subsection (1) above: persons entrusted with special public 1. service functions; 2. officially consulted experts; and 3. those who hold offices in churches and other religious associations under public law. (3) The offence may only be prosecuted upon request of the official superior or the victim. In the case of offences by officially consulted experts the head of the public authority whose proceeding has been affected shall be entitled to file a request apart from the victim.



  1. The content of the translated German penal code in relation to violation of the tax secret is current as of 2010

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