Germany may buy data on tax evaders with Swiss accountsJanuary 31st, 2010 - 4:27 am ICT by IANS
Berlin, Jan 31 (DPA) Germany’s government is considering buying purloined files on about 1,500 German taxpayers alleged to be using secret Swiss bank accounts to evade taxes, Berlin officials confirmed Saturday.
Two German newspapers reported Saturday that data on five evaders had been given to Germany as a free sample to test the veracity of the information.
Officials who asked not to be named told the DPA that no decision had been reached yet. Tax authorities could expect to recoup the cost several times over through back taxes and penalties.
The New York Times reported Jan 18 that such data was being offered to Germany by a former Swiss banking executive. But it was not clear at first if he was the source of the new data cache.
The secretive “offshore” banking industry was rocked in 2008 when client lists from two Liechtenstein banks were betrayed to German, US and other tax authorities, apparently by whistleblower former staff.
A series of rich Germans suffered police raids as their tax scams were exposed and tiny Liechtenstein angrily protested at the damage to its most lucrative sector, operating confidential bank accounts.
Germany, the US and many other nations require their taxpayers to declare annually all their income worldwide, but it has been easy in the past to conceal such income in “offshore” banks.
Two newspapers, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) and the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, said the data had been offered to tax collectors in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Officials said it was up the states, which collect taxes in Germany, rather than the federal government to decide whether to buy the data. The key issue was whether evidence obtained by breaking Swiss law might not be admissible in a German court.
FAZ said each of the five sample cases would lead to one million euros ($1.4 million) in revenue being recovered.
A Federal Finance Ministry spokesman declined comment on the case, but said Germany was regularly offered leaked data from tax havens.
- Germany plans to attract more foreign skilled workers - Dec 02, 2011
- Pug fashion leads to longer noses and legs - Jul 16, 2012
- Germany to buy secret Swiss banking data - Feb 06, 2010
- Neighbors complain that a deaf couple is too loud - Nov 30, 2011
- Poisonous dioxin found in 3,000 tons of an animal feed additive in Germany - Jan 06, 2011
- Swiss whistleblower to handover offshore banking secrets to Wikileaks - Jan 16, 2011
- Government has no data on Swiss bank money: RTI activist told - Sep 16, 2010
- German Foreign Minister Westerwelle steps down as German Vice Chancellor - Apr 05, 2011
- Mass strikes hit Greece as bailout talks reach climax - May 01, 2010
- Court: German bosses can order women to wear bras to work - Jan 13, 2011
- German prosecutor shot dead by defendant - Jan 12, 2012
- Germany Court Ruling States Women Must Wear Bras - Jan 15, 2011
- BJP asks Centre to release names of black money account-holders - Apr 26, 2011
- Synagogue opens in German town after 70 years - Mar 15, 2010
- Supreme Court to hear black money issue - Feb 10, 2011
Tags: data cache, federal finance, finance ministry, frankfurter allgemeine zeitung, frankfurter allgemeine zeitung faz, german newspapers, lucrative sector, ministry spokesman, new york times, north rhine westphalia, offshore banks, police raids, sueddeutsche zeitung, swiss accounts, swiss bank accounts, swiss law, tax authorities, tax evaders, tax scams, tiny liechtenstein