German Tax Haven Law Passed in Lower House | News | DW
Drying up “places of well-being for tax evaders” was Parliament’s goal, said conservative finance politician Fritz Güntzler of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) as the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag passed the bill on Thursday.
But skeptics, including opposition Markus Herbrand of pro-business Free Democrats, said the so-called oases listed in the bill accounted for less than 2% of all taxes evaded globally.
And Stefan Schmidt of the Opposition Greens described the “blacklist” or EU list of “uncooperative tax authorities” originally compiled by the European Union as “more of a hole than a list”.
Large tax havens like the Cayman Islands are not included, and perhaps the most controversial of all, so-called European tax havens are also not on the list.
The German law was passed by the Bundestag on Thursday and is still subject to a vote in the upper house, the Bundesrat. It would implement proposed EU law for the first time in 2017.
The bill was passed with the support of the grand coalition government. The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) opposed the bill in Thursday’s vote. The Greens, the FDP and the far left party Die Linke abstained.
The bill presented by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet assumes a coordinated crackdown by EU member states on operating and overhead costs claimed as tax deductions by investors doing business abroad.
Under the bill, they will have to convince their local German tax reporting office that the earnings made meet international tax standards.
The increased mobility of people and capital has fueled tax evasion, the Bundestag’s finance committee told parliament when recommending the bill for adoption.
ipj / msh (Reuters, dpa)