What are the penalties for tax evasion?

Verified 01 January 2024 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Tax evasion is the avoidance or attempt to evade taxes by any means. Tax evasion is punished by tax and criminal sanctions.

You commit tax fraud if you use deliberately certain methods of avoiding or attempting to avoid taxation.

This is the case if you make the following choices:

  • Do not report on time
  • Hiding taxable property or income
  • Surrender insolvent

You risk fiscal sanctions if you conceal taxable income or property.

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You didn't report your income on time

If the tax administration discovers the existence of hidden (i.e. undeclared) activity, your tax will be increased by 80%.

Your return is intentionally incomplete

You risk an increase if your return is voluntarily incomplete.

For example, if you have not declared property or taxable income, or if you have undervalued the value of your wealth.

Depending on your situation, this increase will be one of the following:

  • 40% in case of voluntary forgetfulness
  • 80% in case abuse of rights, reduced to 40% if you are not the initiator or primary beneficiary of the initiative
  • 80% in case of fraud

You may also be charged interest on late payment.

They amount to 0.20% by month of delay (either 2.4% over 1 year).

If the tax administration detects fraud, it can engage criminal proceedings after obtaining the opinion of the Tax Offenses Commission.


In the event of tax fraud, criminal proceedings may be instituted during 6 years from the year following the infringement.

In addition to tax penalties, you may face the following 2 penalties:

  • €500,000 fine
  • 5 years imprisonment

The penalties shall be increased in the following cases:

  • Acts committed in an organized band
  • Opening accounts or signing contracts with organizations established abroad
  • Interposition of screen persons or bodies established abroad
  • Use of false identity or documents (or any other falsification)
  • Domiciliation or fictitious or artificial act abroad

In the event of an aggravated penalty, you risk the following 2 penalties:

  • €3 000 000 fine
  • 7 years imprisonment

Prison sentences are reduced by half if the perpetrator or accomplice of the crime participates in the identification of other perpetrators or accomplices.

In addition to these sanctions, there may be additional penalty of pwithdrawal of rights to tax reductions and credits on income andIFI: titleContent.

This penalty may be imposed upon conviction in the following cases:

  • Aggravated tax evasion
  • Receipt of aggravated tax fraud
  • Laundering of aggravated tax fraud

It can be applied for a maximum duration of 3 years, from the taxation of income in the year following that of the conviction.

Please note

if you acknowledge the facts, the public prosecutor may propose a appearance on prior conviction (sometimes called the procedure for plead guilty).

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