Germany Second Largest Bank Raided in Tax Probe

December 4, 2013 Taxation in Germany

BOCHUN – German authorities suspect that life insurance policies have been used to facilitate tax evasion, and have conducted raids to uncover proof of the illicit activity.

On December 3rd the Prosecutors Office of Germany announced that the headquarters and 39 other offices of the country’s second largest bank, Commerzbank, have been raided in an effort to find evidence of tax evasion committed by some of the bank’s clients.

The Commerzbank confirmed that the raids have taken place, and underscored that the investigations are not aimed at the bank or its staff, but at “…several employees of another financial services provider.”

Reports in the local media have indicated that the financial institution in question may the Irish division of an Italian insurance provider, offering products made to resemble life insurance policies, although “…the aim was to enable clients to avoid tax on investment income,” helping as many as 200 clients of Commerzbank to commit large-scale tax evasion, valued at several hundred million over the last 7 years.

Despite not being directly involved in the alleged tax evasion, Commerzbank is currently being treated as a witness in the investigations as the bank is the manager of the accounts of the alleged evaders.

Photo by: Metro Centric