Tax evasion – Offshore Leaks: At least 100,000 German people and companies hide their assets in tax havens

The expert on international tax law Hergen Kassuba comments on the tax haven scandal and considers prejudices misplaced: What is legal is legitimate!

If taxes are evaded by offshore constructions, it is an offense. There is no gray area between these two variants. Moral issues are unknown to German tax law, explains Kassuba.

Your goal is to avoid taxes. Therefore, more than 100,000 Germans are expected to have their assets moved abroad. Since April 4, 2013, the news magazine Focus, the Southgerman newspaper and NDR have been reporting exclusively on tax avoidance strategies through the use of so-called tax havens and complex corporate structures such as trusts, foundations and the like.

Tax evasion mittes offshore companies

The data revealed that all major credit institutions and many German companies (such as BMW, VW and others), but also well-known personalities (such as the late Playboy Hunter Bachs) a network of trusts and letterbox companies in foreign Use tax-saving paradises to avoid taxes.

The media has used leaks to expose a huge network of tax avoidance. Further revelations about a large tax haven machine are announced. Apparently, the existing information is continuously evaluated.

Revelations give the impression of illegality

Experienced international tax law expert Hergen Kassuba explains: “The trusts and other letterbox companies in the tax havens are either created to conceal and disguise assets, or to avoid taxes, such as inheritance tax.”

The data revealed reignite a “justice dispute”: while ordinary citizens are required to pay their taxes, the super-rich and financially strong corporations can use the offshore tax structures of simple front companies to set and regulate their own taxes.

Kassuba: Legal is legitimate too

Hergen Kassuba warns against prejudices. He points out that the cases he has revealed in his examination are typical legal tax constructions. “There is only black and white here. Either it is `black money and thus a criminal tax evasion. Or they are legal tax trusts, which are also legitimate. A gray area, that is, a moral dubiousness, does not exist in tax law, “said the expert on international tax law.

To offshore leaks

The research project “Offshore Leaks” involves numerous journalists and newspapers as well as radio and television stations from 46 countries. The media has enormous amounts of data an anonymous source should have leaked to them. It deals with various individual information on companies and bank accounts in tax havens such as British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Mauritius, Singapore, Samoa, Seychelles, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

The now published German cases include self-employed as a tax consultant from Stuttgart or a German winemaker resident Mallorca, a technology manufacturer from Zenpen, a furniture company from North Rhine-Westphalia, wealthy Russians residing in Hamburg or even Pleitiers as the former owner of a hospital chain in southern Germany.

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