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German Minister Seeks Ban On Tax CD Purchases

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

06 September 2012


German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has called for a new law to ban purchases of stolen CDs containing taxpayer data.

The German Justice Minister's proposal would consist in making it a criminal offence for tax authority officials to buy taxpayer data acquired illegally. It follows the Liberal Party's (FDP) stance in opposing purchases of stolen CDs containing data of German clients in Swiss banks. This proposal coincides with a similar one from FDP Jörg-Uwe Hahn, Justice Minister of the Hesse region.

The plans have received immediate criticism from the left-wing opposition and the tax authority union (DSTG). The opposition has argued that such a unilateral ban would have an effect equivalent to helping tax evaders without gaining anything in return for the government.

“The Liberals are nothing more than a party sponsoring tax evasion”, said Ulrich Maurer, leader of leftist party Die Linke in Parliament.

The DSTG has accused the right-wing government of using the plan to silence opponents of the German-Swiss tax deal, which still needs approval by the left-wing controlled upper house in Parliament.

“With this law, tax deal opponents would be muzzled,” said DSTG Chairman Thomas Eigenthaler in an interview with Bild am Sonntag.

TAGS: individuals | compliance | tax | tax compliance | tax avoidance | law | banking | tax authority | offshore | offshore banking | banking secrecy | withholding tax | Germany | Switzerland

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