Tax evasion: 3 things you'd better not do

Ever thought about cheating on your tax return or not handing it in at all? You'd better not, because tax law knows various criminal offences to punish tax evaders. Tax evasion and tax fraud are only two of them, even minor offences can cost you dearly. If you do not fullfil your obligations, you could be fined, orderd to pay a monetary penalty or even be imprisoned. We will tell you 3 things you should definitely avoid.

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Taxes in Switzerland
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1. Not submitting your tax return

Just not submitting your tax return for once? - That can be expensive. Everyone and anyone who is liable to pay taxes in Switzerland has a duty to cooperate in determining the tax owed. One is obliged to assist the federal government, the cantons and the municipalities in collecting taxes. The taxpayer must complete the tax return truthfully and in full and submit it to the competent tax authority in good time.

Anyone who fails to do so is guilty of violating procedural obligations. This offense can be punished with a fine of up to CHF 1000, in serious cases even up to CHF 10,000. In some cases, the fine is thus higher than the tax itself.

In addition, there is the threat of a so-called discretionary assessment, i.e. the tax authority estimates the tax due on the basis of the previous year's data. In this case taxes may turn out higher than necessary if one has earned more in the previous year.

2. False information in the tax return

Anyone who makes false statements in their tax return and thereby causes the tax to be too low or a legally binding tax assessment to be incomplete is committing tax evasion.

As a rule, tax evasion is punished by a fine in the amount of the evaded tax. This means that in addition to the tax evaded, a fine of the same amount must be paid.

The amount of the fine may be reduced to up to one third of the evaded amount in the case of minor culpability or increased up to three times the amount in serious cases. Anyone who obtains an unjustified tax refund or fails to deduct tax at source is committing tax evasion as well.

Under certain circumstances, the punishment can be prevented or at least reduced by a voluntary report of the fraud to the local tax autority, but cheating is still not worth it!

3. Falsify documents

Crossing out a zero on your wage statement can not do too much harm? - Wrong! When forged, falsified or untrue documents are used to deceive the tax authoritiers for tax evasion purposes, tax fraud has been comitted.

Whether business books, balance sheets or wage statements are falsified, tax fraud is not a trivial offense. If caught, you could face a fine, a monetary penalty or even imprisonment. In the worst case scenario, tax fraud can be punished with up to three years of prison time.

In most cases, there is also a penalty for tax evasion. So the next time you're angry about your taxes, keep in mind that tax fraud can cost you a lot more.

Not sure what is permissible? - The specialists at taxea are happy to assist you with their comprehensive expertise.

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