Taxes make experienced tax advisors more necessary than ever!

Taxes make experienced tax advisors more necessary than ever!

Nobody really likes them and yet many people are of the opinion that taxes are definitely justified as a cash benefit.

Even if they are often paid reluctantly, one recognizes that taxes are necessary to fulfil public law tasks to cover general financial needs and must be paid by all citizens of a state. The emphasis is always on “all”. However, citizens often point out that taxes must be used for specific purposes and for specific purposes, which is not always the case. Taxes are therefore often described as a cash payment without any claim to individual compensation.

Today, taxes are purely monetary benefits

steuern staaten 01The word tax originally comes from the Old High German "stiura" meaning support, help or assistance. In the past, taxes were often paid in kind or in kind and services, but today taxes are purely cash payments. Taxes are as old as the first coexistence in human settlement communities in early antiquity. Described at the time as tribute, customs or tithe, the purpose of collection was already comparable to the modern state system today: communal needs should be satisfied with the income. Modern states sometimes show remarkable creativity when it comes to “inventing” new taxes.

There are records from ancient Egypt that report state revenue from harvests in the form of harvest taxes and the use of the Nile as a transport route in the form of Nile tolls as early as the 3rd millennium BC, which were administered by so-called scribes. The same applied to the advanced civilizations in Mesopotamia along the Euphrates and the Tigris, where, however, the accounting for taxing livestock and fishing was in the hands of the temple administration.

steuern staaten 02Almost as a parallel to some modern states on the Arabian Peninsula, due to their bubbling revenues from oil exports, both the Assyrian and Persian empires were able to largely forego taxing their own citizens during their heyday. These states generated income through tributes that had to be paid by the peoples defeated and subjugated in war. In modern times this is called reparations payments, so it is by no means a new invention.

- After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/1871, the extensive reparations that France had to pay to the German Empire accelerated the economic prosperity of the founding years. In total, France had to pay 5 billion gold francs to the German Empire.

- After losing the First World War, Germany was obliged to pay massive reparations through the Treaty of Versailles.

- Claims for reparations were also raised after the Second World War. In 1946, German foreign assets were confiscated, foreign currency holdings were confiscated, trademarks and patents were confiscated and dismantling was carried out (Paris Reparations Agreement). The calculation of the value of these withdrawals is still difficult to determine and is highly controversial. The estimates for foreign assets range from 315 million US dollars to 20 billion Reichsmarks and, when converted to Reichsmarks, differ by a factor of 16. In the London Debt Agreement in 1953, the offsetting of all reparations withdrawn to date was excluded: they were insignificant in view of the possible reparation demands and The German side would be well advised to leave the question of reparations to rest forever.

The ancient Greeks, in the cradle of democracy, also could not do without taxes. In the Athenian polis, labour and services were taxed and widespread taxation was introduced for those who were non-Athenians. This type of taxation also appeared again in the Middle Ages, when Jews were taxed as a minority. Both in Europe and in the Ottoman Empire. The same applied to other minorities. All readers interested in cultural history will know that the famous Parthenon on the Acropolis was once used as a treasury to store taxes.

steuern staaten 03Since the 6th century BC, there was already a system of tax regulations (census) in the Roman royal era, comparable to the Greek financial administration, which were checked and determined by high officials, the so-called "censores". However, a large part of the state's tasks were carried out by the citizens themselves. This meant that citizens' funds were only needed in exceptional situations. As the Roman Empire expanded, costs grew and tribute payments were rediscovered. The occupied provinces and tributary empires contributed such powerful amounts that in 167 AD Roman citizens were exempt from all direct taxes.

In the provinces, direct taxes (land and poll taxes) were administered by procurators, but for the sake of simplicity, the collection of indirect taxes (customs, road and usage fees) was leased and the system of tax farmers (publicani) led to mismanagement and injustice. It was only Emperor Augustus who placed all tax collection back in the hands of state officials (quaestors).

A mistake that clearly illustrated the wealth of ideas of the tax collectors became famous: the Gallic slave Licinius, who had been released to his homeland by Caesar, was appointed by Augustus as an administrator in Lugdunum (today's Lyon), where Licinius then extended the year by two months. This idea brought him two more monthly taxes a year in Lugdunum until Augustus - after strong complaints from Gaul - stopped this type of tax collection after about two years.

If we summarize, taxes are usually the main source of revenue of a modern state and therefore the most important instrument for financing its territorial government and other tasks. Due to the financial impact on all citizens and the complex tax legislation, taxes and other charges are an ongoing political and social point of contention. Hiring a good tax advisor is more important than ever. In business life you can't do without it.

Tax advice includes the following services

steuern staaten 04The tax advisors have the task of providing assistance in all tax matters, representing you in financial court proceedings and advising on business issues. The activity can be carried out independently or as an employee.

The tax advisor's tasks mainly consist of providing forward-looking advice for optimal tax planning, preparing bookkeeping, annual financial statements and tax returns as well as the subsequent review of tax assessments and representing the client in disputes with the tax office and before the tax court.

In detail, the following tasks are intended for a tax advisor:

  • Management of accounting for commercial clients
  • Maintaining records for freelance clients
  • Preparation of payroll accounting for employers
  • Preparation of annual financial statements for accounting clients
  • Preparation of the income statement for non-balance sheet clients
  • Preparation of tax returns in the corporate and private sectors
  • Representation before tax authorities, tax courts as well as in criminal tax matters and in fine matters due to a tax offense
  • Consulting services regarding

o Tax planning

o entrepreneurial and business management issues

o the company accounting and the internal control system

o Business start-up issues and restructuring cases

o Asset management and planning

o Rating, support in bank negotiations

  • Other advice and representation (particularly with regard to social insurance)
  • Appraisal activities
  • Company valuations
  • Opening of wills

Legal advice in other areas of law is not permitted (subject to the obligation of lawyers) and the auditing of annual and consolidated financial statements (subject to the obligation of auditors).

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