The growing complexity of tax law and the financial administration's increased propensity for dispute mean that international and national companies are facing greater potential for conflict. Differences of opinion with the financial administration cannot always be prevented, and it's not always possible to reach a mutual settlement on a dispute. The taxpayer must therefore assert its legal rights, quite possibly before a financial court, and accept the potential litigation risks.
We comprehensively advise our clients (that include national and international companies and mid-size family companies) in conflict situations or legal disputes with the financial administration in all areas of tax law. We have extensive experience in handling tax law proceedings and highly specialised expertise in procedural law and material tax law. This is why we are frequently entrusted with legal representation in particularly complex tax disputes that are often extremely difficult from both an actual and/or legal perspective.
A primary aim of our advisory services in this area is to prevent conflict or, respectively, conduct extra-judicial mediation procedures and settle any differences of opinion with the financial administration (e.g. by obtaining binding information or holding "conciliatory talks" with the tax auditors). Where legal disputes continue, we represent our clients in extra-judicial proceedings vis-à-vis the financial administration and at all levels of judicial financial proceedings.
When tax controversies and tax disputes arise, we support WTS clients in handling the following issues:
If a factual and/or legal situation is unclear, legal certainty regarding the financial administration's handling of a tax issue can be achieved by reaching a final settlement (“Tatsächliche Verständigung”) or obtaining an advance ruling (“Verbindliche Auskunft”). We comprehensively advise our clients in submitting respective applications to the financial administration, in a preliminary review of the formal and material application requirements, and also on the measures that must be taken in the individual case to reach a final settlement or obtain an advance ruling (e.g. by negotiating with the financial administration). Our advisory services also include obtaining an advance ruling on payroll taxes (“Lohnsteueranrufungsauskunft”).
We represent our clients vis-à-vis the financial administration during company audits, where there is often high potential for conflict. A main focus of our advisory services is to settle any disputes out of court. In doing so, we support our clients through e.g. expert opinions on the disputed issues with the auditors or through participating in joint talks.
We represent WTS clients vis-à-vis the financial administration during objection proceedings (“Einspruchsverfahren”). As well as taking the necessary procedural actions for our clients, our advisory services include participating in talks with the financial administration, reviewing the material legal situation and developing a specific procedural strategy for handling the dispute.
We handle all instances of judicial financial proceedings at national level for our clients. Before doing so, we evaluate the chances of success of such financial proceedings. We also represent our clients in appeal proceedings at the Federal Fiscal Court (including the filing of complaints against denial of leave to appeal), in tax-related matters at the Federal Constitutional Court (e.g. constitutional complaints) or at the European Court of Justice.
The extra-judicial and judicial representation of our clients during conflicts with the financial administration also includes advising on questions regarding interim measures (especially on the suspension of enforcement of contested tax assessment notices, the issuance of preliminary injunctions).
We in the transfer pricing team (TP Controversy) support our clients in particular in international advance pricing agreements APAs), cross-border mutual agreement procedures (MAP) as well as arbitration proceedings or proceedings within the meaning of the EU Double Taxation Treaty Dispute Settlement Act (EU-DBA-SBG). For further information please use this link.
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