Cum-ex scandal: coalition wants to recover more tax money

Cum-ex scandal: coalition wants to recover more tax money

The black-red coalition is increasing the pressure on offenders to come to terms with the billions of euros in damage to the state coffers caused by cum-ex tax deals.

After changes in the law, it should be possible to recover embezzled billions of euros longer than was previously possible. For the confiscation of illegally obtained profits should also be possible in past cases. In addition, the statute of limitations for particularly serious tax evasion is to be extended from 10 to 12 years.

Union faction vice president andreas jung said in berlin: "in the prosecution of cum-ex acts and in the jerking of tax funds, there is a need for consistency and hard." By cum-ex trades illegally obtained assets must be confiscated, at the end of the year, these serious acts were not allowed to lapse. SPD deputy leader achim post said that the perpetrators should not be allowed to keep the billions in proceeds from their tax fraud.

In cum-ex transactions, stock traders staged a confusion game with the tax authorities using shares with ("cum") and without ("ex") dividend claims. Investors love to get multiple refunds of capital gains tax on stock dividends once paid with the help of banks.

Around the dividend record date, these shares were shifted back and forth between several participants. Tax authorities then refunded capital gains taxes that had not been paid at all. The german state suffered a great deal of damage as a result; according to one estimate, the treasury could have been deprived of 30 billion euros.

The cum-ex transactions were mainly made in the period 2006 to 2012. 2009 saw a particularly large number of such share deals, which were claimed for tax purposes in 2010. According to the current legal situation, this trap could be avoided at the end of 2020 ? So after a ten-year period ? Verjahren. Since the authorities expect that numerous other facts will be investigated, they want to avoid this at all costs. If the deadline was extended, investigators had more time to shed light on the matter and find more parties involved. As of the end of october, 69 criminal proceedings were pending against 927 natural persons at the public prosecutor's office in colonia. With the change in the year, the number was allowed to increase significantly.

SPD faction vice post said that reclaims had already been considerably facilitated. Now, in a second step, further changes in the law are to be introduced, which will make it possible for the state to confiscate cum-ex profits to an even greater extent and additionally extend the expiry periods. "The message is clear: tax fraud against the general public must not be worthwhile. Offenders must be held accountable for their actions."According to the words of CDU man jung, legal hurdles that stand in the way of the collection of funds will now be cleared away.

Federal minister of justice christine lambrecht (SPD) wrote in a letter to the members of the government factions that a change in the law was necessary in order to recover proceeds illegally obtained through cum-ex transactions. According to the current legal situation, the obstacle of lapse of time could stand in the way of several state claims.

The original plan was to bring about the necessary change in the law in the course of a reform of the code of criminal procedure, which was being considered anyway. However, the reform is not expected to come into force until the middle of next year. "However, we don't want to wait a day longer than necessary to collect the cum-ex loans."Therefore, necessary changes should be removed from the draft reform of the code of criminal procedure and included in the annual tax law.

The left-wing finance expert in the bundestag, parliamentary group vice fabio de masi, called the planned longer expiration period "a sensible mabnahme" (decrease). However, better staffing in the countries is also crucial: "the federal government should also increase diplomatic pressure on switzerland to extradite cum-ex architect hanno berger."

NRW justice minister peter biesenbach, who had introduced an initiative in the bundesrat (upper house of parliament), also spoke out in favor of a tougher approach. The christian democrat was in favor of raising the time limit to 15 years, now it will be 12 years.

The state politician expressed his satisfaction with the current development: "i am glad that the federal government has finally agreed to the improvements we urged via the federal council with regard to the asset stripping and, in particular, with regard to the extension of the relative expiry period." The facts had to be clarified and the illegally obtained wealth advantages through a "tax evasion industry" had to be knocked off. "Anything else would be incompatible with my sense of justice."

By far the largest number of criminal proceedings nationwide are pending at the colonn public prosecutor's office, because the federal central tax office has its headquarters in bonn – for this, the focal point unit from colonn is responsible.

In the first cum-ex criminal trial in germany, the regional court of bonn sentenced two british stock traders, who had contributed extensively to the investigation as key witnesses, to custodial sentences in march. It was the first time cum-ex was considered a criminal offense. The federal supreme court has the final say on this – it is still unclear when it will decide.