Experience has shown that any person who, in the opinion of the inspectors, may be aware of any suspicious transactions, including your current or former employees, may be summoned to the Financial Police as a witness to the auditors or, if criminal proceedings have been instituted, to provide evidence from memory of the specific conditions, partners and course of your company’s business transactions.
Of course, the director and chief accountant are summoned first. Witnesses are summoned to appear or provide explanations during the audit. All evidence is recorded in the minutes.
Some suggestions on what to do when you receive an invitation to visit the SRS or the Financial Police…
1 The summon should not be ignored
Often absenteeism is interpreted almost as proof of guilt. The SRS will start to wonder if your company does operate at all.
And yes… You can also be held administratively liable for not appearing without good reason.
2 Prepare for questions
Most likely, the purpose of the conversation will be to gather evidence of violations with your help. For example, VAT evasion or possible fictitious transactions. Therefore, such questions are most often asked:
How and why did you get acquainted with your cooperation partner?
Who signed the contracts and bills of lading?
How was the product or service delivered?
Where was the product stored?
What are your responsibilities in the company?
What are the sources of funding?
3 Be relaxed
Inspectors or investigators tend to use various psychological tricks to achieve the desired answers. Even intimidate with giant penalties, since for such blackmail they are not held accountable.
You must negotiate with the firm belief that all transactions are in accordance with legal requirements. No violation. No panic.
4 Answer concisely and convincingly
Of course, it is not possible to predict all the questions in advance. In addition, investigators often ask the same question, hoping that you will become contradictory in your imagination. So first of all – don’t rush with the answers. Think carefully. Try not to talk unnecessarily. Every superfluous word may be treated as necessary by the inspectors to the detriment of you.
It is advisable to answer something vague and general rather than to give broad and therefore contradictory evidence. However, it is humane not to remember this … Here will be useful phrases such as:
As far as I remember …
It’s possible that …
Most likely that …
If I remember correctly, …
If I’m not mistaken, …
Remember that you have the right to consult your lawyer before each answer, as well as to request a transcript of the minutes. Your lawyer may take part in any such conversation. If you understand that the case is probably serious, be sure to come to the interview with the lawyer.
5 Check the minutes
Carefully read the minutes so that SRS officers do not have the opportunity to interpret the inspector’s writing at their own discretion later. Delete easy to misunderstand phrases.
If possible, have the minutes read by the lawyer before signing. He won’t be as worried as you.
Before going to the SRS, we recommend discussing the desired answers to the interrogator’s questions with employees or suppliers, as well as discussing potential risk topics with your accountants and lawyer.
P.S. And next time we will talk about the most dangerous tax reduction schemes that should be avoided, since there is completely legitimate methods!