European Data Protection Digest

Tax Dodgers Surrendering after Germany's Decision to Buy Stolen Bank Data

FINANCIAL PRIVACY—GERMANY

February 12, 2010

In the wake of Germany's decision to purchase stolen Swiss bank account data, tax authorities and lawyers are reporting being contacted by Germans with an estimated €200 billion in undeclared funds seeking to avoid criminal prosecution, Reuters reports. Despite concerns raised by Swiss officials and privacy advocates alike, Germany decided to pay €2.5 million for the stolen data that is expected to contain information on tax evaders. The data could help the country recoup €400 million in tax revenue. "There's been a delightful rise in tax compliance," Berlin Finance Department Spokesman Daniel Abbou said after 74 people volunteered to pay back taxes on previously undeclared income in the past week.
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