Ger­many tips off on tax eva­sion cases

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

GER­MAN of­fi­cials have passed more than 100,000 de­tails of bank ac­counts sus­pected of in­volve­ment in tax eva­sion to their col­leagues across Europe.

Au­thor­i­ties in the west­ern state of North Rhine-West­phalia said they have given ac­cess to three sep­a­rate troves of data from a Swiss bank and a Lux­em­burg one to their Euro­pean coun­ter­parts.

The move was “an im­por­tant mes­sage to tax cheats: more and more hid­ing places for your un­re­ported money are be­ing dis­cov­ered”, re­gional fi­nance min­is­ter Nor­bert Wal­ter-Bor­jans said.

The big­gest pack­age of data stemmed from a hard drive sent by an anony­mous whistle­blower to tax in­spec­tors in the west­ern state.

The hard drive con­tained de­tails of al­most 160,000 ac­counts held in a Lux­em­burg bank by cit­i­zens of 20 Euro­pean na­tions in­clud­ing Ger­many, the state­ment said.

The se­cond of the three ar­chives, passed on by French tax au­thor­i­ties, “sup­ple­ments pre­vi­ously de­liv­ered data” stem­ming from information leaked by for­mer HSBC em­ployee Herve Fal­ciani.

The IT worker's dis­clo­sures un­leashed the so-called “Swissleaks” scan­dal on bank-backed tax eva­sion, and al­legedly in­di­cated HSBC's Swiss pri­vate bank­ing arm helped more than 120,000 clients hide 180.6 bil­lion eu­ros (US$205.4 bil­lion) from tax au­thor­i­ties from November 2006 to March 2007.

The third “pack­age” con­tains information about the op­er­a­tions of an un­named large bank “that can give Euro­pean fi­nan­cial au­thor­i­ties clues about pos­si­ble com­plic­ity in evad­ing tax”. –

Photo: EPA

Nor­bert Wal­ter-Bor­jans says it is a warn­ing to tax cheats.

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