• Germany's news in English

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare

The Local · 16 Apr 2014, 14:24

Published: 16 Apr 2014 14:24 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

As many as 13,000 tax evaders revealed their undeclared incomes in the first three months of the year, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, which conducted its own survey of the finance ministries in the different German states.

The number of new declarations was biggest in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state, which, with 2,656, had five times as many as in the same period last year.

Bavaria had four times as many with 2,030. There were also large rises in Rhineland-Palatinate (1,684), Baden-Württemberg (2,669) and Hesse (1,327).

Former Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeneß was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison last month for evading some €28 million in tax, following a trial that drew both national and international attention.

According the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the finance ministries are certain the trial had a direct effect on the new surge.

Bremen Finance Minister Karoline Linnert told the paper: "The case of Hoeneß, the failed tax treaty with Switzerland, and the pressure of Swiss banks on their German customers to declare their tax situation - all of this has had an effect."

She was referring to what has been called the "white money" strategy now being adopted by many Swiss banks, which means they pledge only to accept money from customers who submit a written declaration that their money has been correctly declared to the tax authorities.

Carsten Kühl, Social Democrat finance minister in Rhineland-Palatinate, said this new development vindicated his decision to oppose the Swiss-German treaty, which was agreed by Federal Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble but then overturned by the German states.

Story continues below…

If the Swiss-German treaty had gone ahead in 2012 then German citizens with undeclared money in Swiss bank accounts would have kept their anonymity in exchange for paying a one-off penalty.  

SEE ALSO: Uli Hoeneß attends first game since conviction

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
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.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

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