The tax administration can obtain a court order with a penalty payement to force the taxpayer to dispose information concerning his assets. This conclusion is supported by a judgement of 16 June 2015 of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights which provides the right of a fair trial – including the right of silence – contains also the right against self-incrimination. The ECHR deems that this right will not be at risk when the tax administration asks to submit certain information about the taxpayer his financial circumstances. According to the Court, it’s a common feature of the tax system of Membet States.
It’s quite different when they want to impose tax fines or start a criminal prosecution. In these specific cases the taxpayer can’t be forced to submit information when it leads to self-incrimination.
The ECHR ruled in this case that a penalty payment may be imposed to force the taxpayer to submit information. The ECHR deems that there is no violation of article 6.
LAUWERS & SEUTIN Tax Lawyers keeps track of developments and remains available for further questions.