Germany steps up crackdown on tax evaders with data purchase in Dubai | Angela Merkel News
“With the new data set, we are shedding light on the dark corners in which tax offenders have so far retreated,” German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said in a statement.
Germany’s Finance Minister ordered the purchase of data on Germans with assets in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, as part of efforts to fight tax evasion, following similar purchases by regional authorities data from Switzerland over the past decade.
The finance ministry said the data on the CD was sent to regional financial authorities on Wednesday for review and decide whether to prosecute possible violators.
“We are using all means to uncover tax offenses,” Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said in a statement. “With the new data set, we are shedding light on the dark corners in which tax offenders have so far been entrenched.”
Negotiations with an anonymous informant were launched in January and the purchase for an undisclosed amount was made in February, although it has only been announced now.
The buy comes ahead of Germany’s September 26 national election, in which Scholz, who is also vice-chancellor in the outgoing government, is the center-left Social Democrats candidate to succeed conservative Angela Merkel as leader of Germany. Although Scholz is widely respected, his party has not come out of a long-term electoral slump.
One of Scholz’s party co-leaders, Norbert Walter-Borjans, bought several CDs with data on Swiss bank customers when he was finance minister for Germany’s most populous state, Rhineland. North Westphalia, between 2010 and 2017. Switzerland has expressed its indignation at these movements.
Der Spiegel magazine first reported the purchase of a CD with details of assets in Dubai, such as plots of land and real estate owned by German nationals.
He said an anonymous informant approached German officials and offered to pass on the data, for which the federal tax office paid around 2 million euros ($ 2.42 million), Spiegel said.
In the past, the tax authorities of the 16 German states had requested information from countries like Switzerland to detect possible tax evasion by wealthy Germans.