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Streck Mack Schwedhelm
Streck Mack Schwedhelm
Streck Mack Schwedhelm
Streck Mack Schwedhelm

„We enter the game when all else seems to be failing.”

Dr. Michael Streck

Cologne T +49  221 49 29 29 - 0 koeln@streck.net
Berlin T +49 30 89 38 44 - 0 berlin@streck.net
Munich T +49  89 17 99 900 - 0 muenchen@streck.net

Our competencies

Besteuerung der Privatperson
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Besteuerung der Privatperson

Die Beratung und Vertretung von natürlichen Personen bei ertragsteuerlichen Fragestellungen beginnt mit der Frage der Steuerpflicht in Deutschland (unbeschränkt/beschränkt). In diesem Zusammenhang beraten wir zu den steuerrechtlichen Konsequenzen des Wegzugs bzw. Zuzugs von natürlichen Personen aus bzw. nach Deutschland. Ferner werden Fragen der laufenden Besteuerung behandelt, insbesondere in Bezug auf die Arbeitnehmerbesteuerung, Kapitalerträge und Einkünfte aus Vermietung und Verpachtung. Regelmäßige Fragestellung ist auch, ob ein wirtschaftlich relevanter Sachverhalt überhaupt der inländischen Besteuerung unterliegt oder nicht (zB bei Immobilienveräußerungen und Spekulationsgeschäften, der Abgrenzung zur Liebhaberei oder der Anerkennung von Verlusten). Außerdem beraten wir Gesellschafter und Geschäftsführer von Kapitalgesellschaften zu allen relevanten Fragen des Gesellschafts-, Steuer- und Abgabenrechts. Zankapfel mit der Finanzverwaltung in diesem Zusammenhang ist zB die Umqualifizierung der Einkünfte aus Vermietung und Verpachtung in gewerbliche Einkünfte aufgrund der Annahme einer Betriebsaufspaltung. Hier unterstützen wir unsere Mandanten sowohl bei der Vermeidung einer Betriebsaufspaltung als auch bei der Vermeidung der unbeabsichtigten Auflösung einer Betriebsaufspaltung.

Besteuerung von Einzelunternehmern und Freiberuflern
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Besteuerung von Einzelunternehmern und Freiberuflern

Wir betreuen Einzelunternehmer und Freiberufler gesellschafts- und steuerrechtlich von der Gründung des Unternehmens bis zur Betriebsaufgabe, -veräußerung oder der Unternehmensnachfolge. Ferner beraten wir unsere Mandanten bei der Wahl der richtigen Rechtsform ebenso wie bei der Umstrukturierung des Unternehmens. Freiberufler unterstützen wir bei der Gründung oder dem Ausscheiden aus Sozietäten, Partnerschaftsgesellschaften und anderen Berufsausübungsgemeinschaften sowie bei der Eingehung von Kooperationen (zB Praxis- oder Kostengemeinschaften). Ferner sind wir im Rahmen von Steuerstreitverfahren bei allen Fragen der laufenden Besteuerung behilflich (zB Art der Gewinnermittlung, Bilanzierungsfragen, Abgrenzung des Betriebsvermögens vom Privatvermögen, Qualifikation der Einkünfte, Umsatzsteuer, Fragen der Arbeitnehmerbesteuerung).

Taxation of partnerships
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Taxation of partnerships

This area of expertise relates to tax consulting for partnerships and the partners themselves. With regard to the planning process as well as the defence advice provided to tax offices and law enforcement agencies, we assist our clients in all matters that may arise in the area of asset management for partnerships and co-entrepreneurships. This includes procedural and criminal tax issues as well as income, land acquisition or VAT matters for example. In the case of restructuring, such as the formation or dissolution of partnerships, the acquisition or transfer of shareholdings or the admission or resignation of partners, we also advise on the related civil law issues.

Corporate taxation
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Corporate taxation

This special field deals in particular with tax consulting relating to corporations and their shareholders. With regard to corporate tax, trade tax and income tax issues, we get involved in tax audits as well as conducting appropriate legal redress procedures. The scope of our tax planning consultancy includes assisting companies and their shareholders in constituting articles of incorporation or in the transfer of shares, in the contribution/conversion or the distribution of dividends, in raising and reducing capital and in liquidation procedures.

Corporate transformation
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Corporate transformation

In terms of corporate transformation, we advise in both corporate law and tax law in all matters relating to corporate restructuring. The scope of our consulting activities includes the founding procedures, and divided inheritance and merger processes concerning freelancers and partnerships, as well as the restructuring of entire corporate structures. Our individual consultants possess both the corporate law and the tax law expertise required to advise on restructuring measures from a single source.

Insolvency tax law
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Insolvency tax law

This field of expertise includes all tax issues that may arise in the areas of insolvency and reorganisation. We not only advise companies that are threatened with insolvency, including their shareholders and management, but also their tax consultants and the insolvency administrator. The aim is to avert the crisis as effectively as possible while at the same time avoiding liability risks. Irrespective of this, we conduct the tax-related redress procedures for the participants during the crisis period.

Non profit organizations / foundations / public sector
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Non profit organizations / foundations / public sector

The consulting of non-profit organizations and the public sector has been a long-standing focus of SMS. Associations, federations, foundations, non-profit corporations and corporations under public law value our comprehensive consulting experience in association and foundation law, subsidy law, non-profit law, the tax law of professional associations, the public sector and non-tax-privileged associations and foundations. We supervise and organise start-up projects, draft articles of association and support you in all matters of association and foundation law. In recent years, tax issues in the field of associations, sport and the public sector have developed into further focal points. Due to the increased tendency of the tax authorities to investigate tax offences, our special expertise in criminal tax law and tax compliance is particularly helpful in this respect.

Value added tax
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Value added tax

Value added tax has developed into a focal point of consulting in recent years. The requirements of EU law, constant new developments in the BFH (Federal Finance Court) and Eu-GH (European Court of Justice) jurisdiction as well as deviating administrative guidelines present companies and consultants with ever new challenges. We support consultants and companies in special audits of business tax and value added tax, disputed opposition and finance court proceedings up to BFH and EuGH as well as individual questions and structures relating to value added tax. In this context, value added tax risk management (VAT compliance) and sales tax criminal law are further consulting focal points of SMS. As classic second advisors, we support you in tax and liability precautions as well as in VAT disputes.

International tax law
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International tax law

As a nationwide law firm, we are regularly entrusted with questions of international tax law viewed from a German perspective. Our activities include representation in cross-border tax / criminal tax proceedings as well as providing advice to companies and private individuals on matters such as immigration and emigration, the establishment or winding-up of holding companies or subsidiaries in Germany and abroad, or cross-border conversion procedures. As far as legal issues relating to foreign legal systems are concerned, we work closely with foreign tax consultants and lawyers.

Commercial criminal law
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Commercial criminal law

Representation in tax litigation and tax investigation proceedings displays many references to general commercial criminal law. We defend our clients even if fraud, breach of trust or corruption allegations have been made in connection with the tax investigation. Cross-references to insolvency offences or allegations of social security fraud are also typical. The objective of criminal defence is generally the termination of the preliminary proceedings without a court hearing. If this is not successful, we will also represent the clients in the main proceedings at the criminal court as well as in any further instances that may arise. In all stages of the procedure, we cooperate closely and regularly with reputable criminal lawyers, whether we are working for a client as part of a team, or in the event that the representation of various involved parties needs to be organised. It follows that the field of commercial criminal law includes such cases in which, due to our specialisation, we are entrusted with the conduct of revision proceedings in criminal tax law, since in this area not only the substantive tax and penal provisions but also the procedural peculiarities of revision law must be kept strictly under control.

Compliance
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Compliance

As a result of the tightening of tax regulations and the intensified use of criminal tax law as a 'regulatory tool', companies are increasingly seeking to assure tax compliance in order to avoid sanctions by ensuring that they adhere to legal requirements. We advise and support companies in the development and implementation of tax compliance management systems (Tax-CMS). These consultations are facilitated by the broad experience we have gained in representing companies and corporate officers in tax disputes and tax investigations. Our objective is to create a tailor-made CMS rather than selling an off-the-peg product. If any uncertainties arise in the treatment of specific tax issues, we will a prepare binding information package or formulate a supplementary explanation relating to the current tax return. And if incorrect tax returns have been filed in the past, we will assist with the tax correction. We may say without exaggeration that there is no law firm in Germany that has greater expertise in the complex interplay of legal requirements formulated under § 153 AO (‘tax correction’) and § 371 AO (‘criminal self-reporting’).

Inheritance and gift tax / succession
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Inheritance and gift tax / succession

The first main subject of this advisory field is tax consulting and representation in matters of inheritance and gift tax. On the one hand, we assist in disputes with the tax office (assessment and appeal proceedings) in order to show up any possible solutions (such as a reversal or change of property regime). On the other hand, we offer guidance around the tax planning of acquisitions on account of death or for living persons. Civil law design forms the second significant aspect of this advisory field. Here, for example, we assist with the preparation of wills, with inheritance and compulsory-portion renunciation contracts as well as with anticipated succession, for example through company transfers, property and cash gifts or family trusts. This enables us to offer succession planning across the spectrum tax and civil law.

Special transaction and excise taxes
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Special transaction and excise taxes

This is a field of expertise that includes a bouquet of multi-layered taxes of various degrees of frequency and dimension. It is commonly attributed to these special transaction and excise taxes - sometimes dubbed as "marginal tax forms" - that they place a burden on commercial traffic and/or the consumption processes of such traffic. The individual German transaction taxes (GrEStG, KraftStG, VersStG, FeuerschStG, RennwLottG, etc.) and excise taxes (BierStG, BranntwMonG, EnergieStG, KaffeeStG, LuftVStG, StromStG, TabStG, etc.) are specialised subjects which, not least because of their opaqueness, place high demands on consultants both in dispute and in counselling/ planning situations, especially with regard to factual validity, rules of exemption or postponement, or the ability to rectify procedural infringements.

Customs duties
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Customs duties

The subject area deals with all levies linked to the movement of goods between the EU and the rest of the world. Our practice focuses on advising and representing clients with regard to import duties, of which the prototype is customs duties. In addition, there are national taxes levied by reference on the occasion of border crossing (turnover tax on imports an special excise duties on goods such as coffee, alcohol, energy products, etc.), whose economic significance far exceeds the volume of customs duties. Although embedded in global and supranational structures characterised by a variety of special features, our lawyers’ proven tax and tax law know-how remains an indispensable tool in gaining the optimal solution for customs cases.

Income tax and social insurance law
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Income tax and social insurance law

These areas of expertise consist of advice and representation while taking account of mutual networks and interactions with other areas of law (in particular civil law/labour law/professional law/commercial administrative law/criminal law). Coordinating the procedural processes is a particular challenge due to the large number of parties involved (on the one hand employees/ employers/managing directors/shareholders/subcontractors, and on the other hand tax investigators/tax offices/municipalities/public prosecutors’ offices/collection agencies/the German state pension insurance). It should be added that complaints regarding the incomplete or incorrect registration of income tax and social security contributions often lead to criminal charges and not infrequently also to higher than estimated taxable turnover and profits. All this needs efficient process management - ideally from a single source. Next to defence counselling, the tax planning consultancy is no less demanding in this area (proprietors’ management contracts, freelance employee contracts/status determination procedures/income tax optimisation).

Company law/M & A
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Company law/M & A

We advise on company/corporate law in terms of both consulting and litigation. Founding, restructuring and company transfer as well as share sales (M & A) are end-to-end processes carried out by us, which means we assist in terms of economic, tax and civil law aspects. At the same time, we represent and advise our clients in the area of post-merger conflicts as well as in disputed shareholder disputes and corporate litigation.

Adviser liability
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Adviser liability

This department is concerned with consultation and representation in relation to liability prevention and defence against possible adviser liability claims. In some cases, our involvement takes place at an early stage of the tax procedure in order to proactively counteract the creation of tax liabilities. In addition, we represent solicitors by defending them against alleged tax consultant claims in extrajudicial and judicial proceedings at the civil courts. In this connection, we have been cooperating with market-leading liability insurers for many years in such matters. At the same time, we advise on liability prevention issues (choice of legal form, structuring of tax consultancy contracts, liability limitation agreements).

We are highly specialised.

We count ourselves among Germany’s leading law firms in the area of tax law.

We are highly specialised. The quality of our consulting is based on many years of experience coupled with our specialist focus. Our competence is assured through continuous knowledge exchange as well as lecturing and writing activities.

We are not a ‘lawyer factory’. Each mandate is led by one of our partners, who is able to draw on the know-how of the entire partnership. If your mandate requires it, we are large enough to set a team onto it.

We also act as consultants to advisers. In our view, tax advisers, auditors and lawyers are partners and not competitors.

Leading business journals rank us amongst Germany’s best-known law firms. We regularly achieve high placements in the law-firm rankings that are now published on an annual basis. In the surveys, carried out by Handelsblatt, Wirtschaftswoche, Focus, Juve, etc. with the top lawyers and leading commercial law practices, we regularly appear among the highest ranking practices and individual lawyers.


We regard these awards not only as recognition of our success, but also as an incentive that motivates us to sustain the highest possible standards in our work. This gives our clients the reassurance that they can depend on our excellent expertise in tax law and criminal tax law at all times.

Magazin