The purchase of tax CDs by the tax authorities for the uncovering of tax evasions seems to fall somewhat into oblivion at present. As however from the uncovered old cases shows up, concerning can hope in practice on the fact that due to missing investigation actions of the tax authorities also after a submitted self-disclosure tax claims fall under the statute of limitations.
In one specific case, taxpayers learned of the purchase of a tax CD containing capital income from their investments in a Liechtenstein foundation. Concrete investigative actions had apparently not yet been carried out, so that in May 2008, the taxpayers filed a voluntary declaration for the years in dispute 1996 and 1997, among others, and subsequently declared the capital income. The tax assessment notices were only amended accordingly after the completion of the search investigation in June 2010. Possibly too late, as the BFH ruled at the end of 2018 – unlike the Finance Court. The limitation period for the two years of dispute ended in principle at the end of 31 December 2008 and is only suspended until May 2009 by the voluntary declaration submitted. A further suspension can only extend the determination period if concrete investigations relating to the years in dispute have taken place by the end of 2008 at the latest.
The Federal Fiscal Court has instructed the Fiscal Court to clarify in the second course of proceedings whether and which concrete investigative actions were carried out by the tax investigators before the end of 2008 with regard to the investment income subsequently declared for the years in dispute (see BFH, judgment of 03.07.2018 – VIII R 9/16). Whether the tax investigation should still succeed such a concrete proof for the dispute years, might be doubtful due to the multiplicity of the data which can be evaluated of the tax CD.