CONTINUEThis site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.
  1. Front Page
  2. News By Topic
  3. German State Receives 'MaltaLeaks' Data

German State Receives 'MaltaLeaks' Data

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

12 May 2017

The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has obtained information, which it claims shows how thousands of owners of companies registered in Malta are avoiding German taxes "in a big way."

The state's Finance Department announced on May 10 that it had acquired a flash drive from an anonymous source containing information on 60,000 to 70,000 Maltese companies. It said the structures are linked to individuals living "in almost all countries of the world."

After an initial evaluation of the data, the Department believes that around 1,600 to 1,700 of these companies are connected to taxpayers in Germany.

According to NRW Finance Minister Norbert Walter-Borjans, the information shows that corporations and individuals are using corporate structures registered in Malta "to bypass tax in Germany in a big way."

"Often, these offshore companies are set up to transfer profits or assets abroad.. and to hide them in inactive mailbox companies," Walter-Borjans said. "Time and again, the investigators also come across company models that were created with the purpose of bypassing corporate taxes in Germany."

While Malta's headline rate of corporate tax, at 35 percent, is higher than Germany's, foreign investors in Malta can claim a number of tax benefits when locating a holding company there by utilizing the country's large network of double tax avoidance treaties, and its participation exemption and tax imputation regimes.

Under Malta's tax imputation system, when dividends are paid by trading companies to the shareholders, these shareholders are entitled to claim refunds of 6/7ths of the Malta tax paid by the company, resulting in an effective Maltese tax rate of five percent.

According to the NRW Finance Department, tax investigators in the city of Wuppertal will now "systematically evaluate" the data contained in the "Malta list."

Walter-Borjans said that, since 2010, information obtained in electronic format from whistleblowers has resulted in the collection of EUR2.4bn (USD2.6bn) in unpaid taxes in NRW, and EUR7bn for Germany as a whole.

TAGS: individuals | Finance | tax | holding company | Malta | tax avoidance | corporation tax | offshore | Germany | dividends | Tax | Tax Evasion

To see today's news, click here.



Password Reminder

Please enter your email address to receive a password reminder.


Tax-News Reviews

Cyprus Review

A review and forecast of Cyprus's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Cyprus Review »

Malta Review

A review and forecast of Malta's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Malta Review »

Jersey Review

A review and forecast of Jersey's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Jersey Review »

Budget Review

A review of the latest budget news and government financial statements from around the world.

Visit Budget Review »

Tax-News+ Updates

Receive FREE daily updates from, straight to your inbox. Register Now!

For a tailored solution, choose to receive selected news updates for your preferred jurisdictions and topics, with our enhanced Tax-News+ subscriber service. Read more...


Stay Updated

Please enter your email address to join the mailing list. View previous newsletters.

By subscribing to our newsletter service, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

To manage your mailing list preferences, please click here »