Germany Offered Tax Evader Data

August 23, 2010 Tax Havens

tax_2960An anonymous whistleblower has come forward in Germany, offering the tax authorities information on 250 companies who have allegedly evaded their tax obligations.

The Finance Ministry of Baden-Wuerttemberg, a German state bordering with Switzerland, confirmed on August 22nd that it had received an electronic correspondence from an anonymous informant regarding extensive data allegedly proving a multitude of tax evasion by German companies. Elaborating on the information, the whistleblower is reported to have written, “I know these people to some extent … and in which banks in Switzerland the money is being held,” and “We are talking about tax losses of between 600 and 800 million euros.” The companies in question are believed to be predominantly from the telecommunications and real estate sectors.

Willi Staechele, Finance Minister of Baden-Wuerttemberg, has already commented on the offer, explaining that an investigation is being held into whether the data is “legally available” and if it would be useful for tax investigators. The informant is believed to be willing to provide authorities with a “test client”, for the purposes of verifying the validity and utility of the information.

The state of Baden-Wuerttemberg has previously said that it refuses to cooperate with tax whistleblowers. However, commenting on the latest informant, a spokesperson for the state indicated that a deal would be considered if the data proved to be genuine and useable. Further, the federal German Government has previously set a precedent of purchasing data on alleged tax evaders, leading local political analysts to believe that the whistleblower’s information will eventually be attained.

Photo by mondays child