Stax investigators may not show up unannounced at the apartment door to check information on the home office if the taxpayer is in principle willing to provide information to the tax office. The Federal Fiscal Court (BFH) announced this on Thursday with reference to the constitutional protection of the apartment.
An examination in the apartment is only permissible if information about the home office or other evidence, such as photographs, do not help. The unannounced inspection of the apartment also remains inadmissible if, as in the case decided, no objection was raised. A self-employed management consultant had filed a complaint, claiming expenses for a home office in her income tax return for the first time. When asked by the tax office, she submitted a sketch of the apartment, which the clerk considered in need of clarification. A tax investigator then came and entered the apartment with reference to the home office exams.
According to the BFH, the action was therefore illegal because the reputation of the taxpayer could be endangered if, for example, neighbors or visitors could get the impression that criminal investigations were being carried out against them. If an on-site inspection would have been necessary, an employee of the assessment office would have had to come. (Judgment of July 12, 2022 – VIII R 8/19)
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