Electronic Legal Transmission
Obligatory legal transmissions of court documents for lawyers and public authorities as of 01/01/2022
As of 01/01/2022 any procedural declaration in writing and any connected attachement have to be submitted electronically to the Bundesfinanzhof.
For lawyers it is from that date onwards mandatory to actively use and check their specific electronic mailbox system ("besonderes elektronisches Anwaltspostfachs" -beA-). Public authorities and legal entities under public law have to use the specific electronic mailbox system customised for them ("besonderes elektronisches Behördenpostfach" -beBPo-) accordingly.
Appeals against first instance judgements, petitions to grant permission, and any other procedural statement by lawyers, public authorities and legal entities under public law may only be submitted electronically. Any of the above mentioned docucments which are transmitted by telefax, postal mail or courier are inadmissible as of 01/01/2022.
This secure way of electronic transmissions according to § 52a Absatz 4 der Finanzgerichtsordnung (FGO) allows for the transmission without a qualified electronic signature. If the secure way of transmission is not used the documents have to be submitted using a qualified electronic signature. The electronic document has to be sent as a PDF file. If pictures, charts and comparable elements can for technical reasons not be included in the PDF file, the document may also be sent in the TIFF format.
Please note that a corporate electronic mailbox and a partnership's electronic mailbox do not qualify as a secure way of electronic transmission according to § 52a Absatz 4 FGO. More information on that can be found in § 52a und § 52d FGO in connection with the regulation about the technical framework for electronic transmission and for the specific electronic mailbox system (Verordnung über die technischen Rahmenbedingungen des elektronischen Rechtsverkehrs und über das besondere elektronische Behördenpostfach – Elektronischer-Rechtsverkehr-Verordnung – (ERVV)) dated 24/11/2017 (BGBl. 2017 Teil I, S. 3803).
Tax consultants and chartered accountants
As of 01/01/2023 also tax consultants and chartered accountants are required to use the electronic way for transmitting their documents to the court. In 2022 tax consultants do not have to submit their court documents electronically yet and can therefore still submit their appeals, petitions to grant permission, and any other procedural declaration by postal mail, Tele- or Computerfax to the Bundesfinanzhof.
On 01/01/2023 the specific electronic mailbox for tax consultants ("besonderes Steuerberaterpostfach" – beSt) will be launched. Then tax consultants are from that date onwards also obliged to use the electronic way of transmission when communicating with the Bundesfinanzhof.
Currently there is no regulation for electronic transmission of documents to the court by chartered accountants and no obligation to use a specific electronic mailbox. They are not obliged to use the ways of electronic legal transmission according to § 52d FGO when communicating with the Bundesfinanzhof.
- Finanzgerichtsordnung (German Tax procedural code) § 52a und § 52d
- Elektronischer-Rechtsverkehrs-Verordnung – (ERVV) dated 24/11/2017 (BGBl. 2017, Teil I, S. 3803) (Regulation about technical framework for electronic transmission and for the specific electronic mailbox system)
- Bekanntmachung zu (Notification to) § 5 ERVV (Elektronischer-Rechtsverkehr-Bekanntmachung 2022 – Electronic legal transmission – Notification – ERVB 2022)
- Bundesrechtsanwaltsordnung (German Federal law for the profession of lawyers) § 31a
- Steuerberatungsgesetz (German Federal Law for the profession of tax consultants) § 86d
- Gesetz zur Neuregelung des Berufsrechts der anwaltlichen und steuerberatenden Berufsausübungsgesellschaften sowie zur Änderung weiterer Vorschriften im Bereich der rechtsberatenden Berufe dated 09/07/2021 (German Federal Law concerning new regulations for lawyers' and tax consultants' corporations and changes of regulations regarding legal professions; BGBl I 2021, 2363)