"We have heard about it," admitted the spokesman for the federal ministry of finance, martin kotthaus, in berlin on monday. But the actual negotiations were essentially conducted by the state of north rhine-westphalia.
The spokesman for finance minister wolfgang schauble (CDU) did not want to make a final decision on whether the federal government will once again contribute to the costs of the purchase. In previous cases, the federal government had contributed half of the total. The rest was shared by the countries.
Lower saxony does not want to pay this time. The action of the red-green dusseldorf state government was "motivated by party tactics" in order to finally bring down the tax treaty with switzerland that has not yet been passed by the bundesrat, said finance minister hartmut mollring (CDU) in hanover. But if it turns out that the data collection also includes taxpayers from lower saxony, they will be investigated. We are obliged to do this, explained mollring.
According to schauble, such deals are not a solution. "Random CD purchases can only ever be a makeshift solution, they do not offer a comprehensive approach to satisfactory taxation," the CDU politician told the "bild" newspaper. His secretary of state, steffen kampeter, accused the government in dusseldorf of a "double strategy". It cannot be that it blocks the tax treaty in the bundesrat, while at the same time presenting itself as the taxpayer’s robin hood. "Dodgy CD purchases are not a lasting principle of the rule of law," he told the newspaper "neue westfalische".
NRW finance minister norbert walter-borjahns (SPD) disagreed. The current version of the agreement with switzerland has "barn door loopholes", he told the newspaper "bild". "It cannot be approved as it stands."According to SPD financial expert joachim pob, the entire treaty should be thrown out. Such data is indispensable in the fight against tax evaders. This sharpest control instrument must not be given out of hand.
Even the planned agreement with switzerland does not categorically prohibit the purchase of such mostly stolen tax data. In a passage in the annex, it is stipulated that in the future germany may not actively seek the acquisition. A "passive" purchase would thus still be possible. According to experts, this would be the case, for example, if the sellers of data turn to the german financial authorities on their own initiative.
According to the media, the new CD contains data on 1000 wealthy germans. 3.5 million euros are said to have been paid for the project. According to the reports, these are customers of the private bank coutts in zurich, a subsidiary of the royal bank of scotland.
The planned tax agreement provides for a flat tax rate of 21 to 41 percent on funds brought into switzerland illegally, depending on the duration and size of the deposits. For this the investors are promised impunity. Artificial capital transfers are to be taxed in the same way as in germany.
The swiss parliament had approved the agreement at the end of may. In germany, the bundestag and bundesrat have not yet given their approval. The states governed by the SPD and the greens want to stop the project in the bundesrat because the regulations do not go far enough for them.