German State Rules Out Purchase Of Stolen Tax Data
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
The German federal government and state of Baden-Württemberg are currently
at loggerheads regarding the purchase of the stolen tax data disc from Switzerland,
believed to contain the names of around 1,700 German tax evaders.
Although the data disc could serve to generate an additional EUR7m in tax revenue,
neither the government nor the state are willing to purchase the disc, thought
to cost in the region of EUR500,000.
In stark contrast to North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg’s
state government in Stuttgart recently announced its decision not to purchase
the tax data disc, arguing that to do so may well be unconstitutional. Any action
taken by the state must respect the fundamental principle of legality, it emphasized.
Despite assurances from the government that the federal tax office in Bonn
would step in to purchase the disc if the need arose, a spokesperson from the
federal finance ministry nevertheless dismissed the idea, underlining the fact
that the decision is very much the responsibility of the state concerned and
the fact that the federal tax office has merely an advisory and coordinating
role in such cases.