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Tax officers can now conduct anonymous investigations on the web to detect and document tax fraud more effectively

The Finance Act for 2024 introduced new measures allowing tax officers to conduct pseudonymous investigations on online platforms under certain conditions. The aim of these new provisions is to step up the fight against tax fraud by using tools adapted to current digital practices.

Public finance officers with at least the rank of public finance controller may now conduct pseudonymous investigations on the internet by registering on various platforms (social networks, messaging applications, etc.) in order to detect and document certain tax offences.
These investigations can be :

• Passive. In this case, tax officers simply consult the information published on websites freely accessible to the general public without exchanging directly with the targeted taxpayers;
• or active. In this case, the public finance officers assigned to a national department can interact, under a pseudonym, with the targeted taxpayers. To this end, they may register under a pseudonym to consult online information, engage in electronic conversations and extract or retain data on persons likely to be the perpetrators of presumed offences, as this evidence may be used in subsequent tax proceedings.

Under no circumstances may officers encourage the targeted taxpayers to commit an offence, under penalty of nullity of the acts performed.

Whether active or passive, the investigation must be carried out for the purposes of investigating or establishing the following breaches:

• Failure or delay in making a declaration in the event of the discovery of a concealed activity or, in the case of development tax, in the event of construction or development without authorisation;
• Disposal of assets or sums of money relating to an illegal activity and giving rise to a presumption of income;
• Deliberate inadequacies in declarations or in connection with an abuse of rights or fraudulent manoeuvres;
• Failure to declare accounts, life insurance policies or trusts held abroad;

The effective implementation of these measures depends on the publication of a decree.

The Finance Act for 2024 has therefore introduced powerful, modern tools for public finance officers, with the aim of enabling them to conduct more effective investigations as part of the fight against tax fraud.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:


Philippe Schmidt
Johanna Segalis

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