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What penalties for tax evasion?

Verified 01 janvier 2022 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Tax evasion consists of evading or attempting to evade tax by any means. Tax evasion is punished by fiscal and criminal sanctions.

You commit tax fraud if you use deliberately certain procedures for evading or attempting to evade tax.

This is the case if you make the following choices:

  • Do not report on time
  • Hide taxable property or income
  • Making yourself insolvent

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

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You did not report your income on time

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

Your return is voluntarily incomplete

You may be subject to an increase if your return is voluntarily incomplete.

For example, if you did not report a property or taxable income, or if you undervalued the value of your assets.

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 lead or the primary beneficiary
  • 80% where fraud

You may also be charged late interest.

They amount to 0,20% by month of delay (or 2.4% over 1 year).

If the tax authority detects a fraud, it can initiate prosecution after obtaining the opinion of the Fiscal Crimes Commission.

In addition to the tax penalties, you risk the following 2 penalties:

  • €500 000 fine
  • 5 years imprisonment

The penalties shall be increased in the following cases:

  • Proceedings in organised groups
  • Opening of accounts or subscription of contracts with bodies established in the foreigner
  • Interposition of foreigner-based individuals or organisations
  • Use of false identity or documents (or any other falsification)
  • Domiciliation or fictional or artificial act to the foreigner

If you receive an aggravated penalty, you risk the following 2 penalties:

  • €3 000 000 fine
  • 7 years imprisonment

  FYI : in the event of tax evasion, criminal proceedings may be instituted during 6 years from the year following the offence.

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

  Please note : If you acknowledge the facts, the public prosecutor may propose a prior conviction (sometimes called the plead guilty).