• Germany's news in English

Tax dodger scandal could mean €400 million for treasury

The Local · 4 Feb 2010, 15:00

Published: 04 Feb 2010 10:02 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Feb 2010 15:00 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

This week Berlin said it would pay for data on some 1,500 suspected tax dodgers with funds stashed in Swiss accounts, dismissing criticism aside that the allegedly stolen material would not stand up in court.

Initially experts said the informant’s information would lead to some €100 million in recovered tax money for the country, but daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that the actual sums could reach upwards of €400 million and are located mainly at the Credit Suisse bank.

Government sources told the paper that the situation was the largest tax evasion discovery in German history.

Internal Credit Suisse documents in the paper's possession reportedly said that the bank has “historically” dealt with German customers who have not taxed all or some of their savings. These customers want bank contact “only seldomly” due to “danger of discovery” and value “discretion and bank secrecy” above all, the documents said.

A Credit Suisse spokesperson told the paper that the bank could not comment on the origin of these documents, but said that the bank did not build its business model based on tax rules.

Story continues below…

“If new or current customers tell a banker they have untaxed money, then the banker recommends that the customer consult with an independent tax advisor,” the spokesperson told the paper. “As a bank we have neither the possibility nor the duty to know the tax situation of our customers.”

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

10:43 February 4, 2010 by michael4096
reminds me of an little advertised episode on the dutch / belgian border a number of years ago, before they agreed to tax information sharing. A dutch bank (slavenburgs, I think) had a major scandal and the top guys were arrested - deliberately, the arrest was arranged for a late friday afternoon to let panic cool, but a monday morning run on the bank was inevitable

over the weekend, the belgian national bank sent a fleet of security vans with enough belgian franks to do the economy some serious harm, together with an army escort, over the border to the small towns on the Dutch side ready for monday morning. Sure enough, come monday, a flood of belgians crossed over to empty their franc-denominated savings accounts in slavenburgs, in cash; they then walked across the road and opened new accounts in one of the other banks that were spread all over that area. The security vans just loaded up all their belgian

cash from the other banks and took it back to belgium

apparenty, it was the only time that belgian military had 'invaded' holland, with or without consent
16:54 February 4, 2010 by freechoice
Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's
18:53 February 4, 2010 by Bushdiver
I think the guy selling the info would make more contacting the people that are on his list than he'll get from the government. All they'll do is waste the money anyway. What was this guy asking for? 2.5 million Euros. I wonder if it's tax free.
20:13 February 4, 2010 by auniquecorn
I think he has an accout at Credit Suisse also, but forgot to put his name on the list.
Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd