Interrogation at the tax office: "good/evil inspector"

Interrogation at the tax office: "good/evil inspector"

In the course of an interrogation at the tax authority, auditors may apply various methods aimed at obtaining the information they need. Sometimes in practice we have to deal even with the most, at first glance, extravagant, but, strange as it may seem, often effective methods. 

One such method is the so-called "good cop - bad cop" approach. Its essence is:

  • Initially creating stress in the interrogator by bordering on rude treatment of the witness, moral pressure, and illustrating potential negative consequences for the witness (angry policeman);
  • and the subsequent demonstration of participation, understanding, willingness to help the witness, and offering various ways of solving a formed and often contrived problem (the good policeman).

As a result of such psychological shaking the unprepared person, especially if it is the first time he is present in the role of the interrogator, provides the inspector with superfluous information, which can be the basis of evidentiary base of the inspection.

An exaggerated version of this technique can be seen in an excerpt from the all-too-famous comedy "The Pink Panther."


Given that witness testimony is one of the strongest arguments in tax disputes, which can sometimes literally turn the prospect of a dispute in the opposite direction, it is important to pay particular attention to preventing inspectors from obtaining negative testimony from an interrogator.

In such a situation, the most effective solution is to engage a tax attorney who can:

  • Professionally prepare the witness for the upcoming interrogation.
  • Prevent the manipulation of the witness by the tax inspectors.
  • Prevent violation of the rights of the interrogated.
  • Help soberly assess the questions and the expediency of providing a particular answer.
  • To control the correct reflection of the testimony in the protocol of the interrogation.
  • To help the witness in case of any non-standard situations at the tax authority.


Tax Compliance team includes tax attorneys with many years of experience in protecting their clients, which allows us to effectively defend the interests of our Clients in disputes with tax authorities.