At the Federal Ministry of Finance’s behest, the Federal Central Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern) has purchased data for the purpose of detecting international tax crimes. This is the first time that the Federal Central Tax Office has independently purchased data that will have a material impact on the taxation process.

The Federal Central Tax Office allocated the data to the relevant highest revenue authorities of the Länder for purposes of further review. The data was sent to the Länder today. The tax authorities there will review whether breaches of tax law have occurred and decide whether to initiate tax crime investigations.

“We are using all available instruments to detect tax crimes. This new data will enable us to shine light into the dark corners where tax offenders continue to hide. Now it is up to tax investigators to track down the offenders and bring them to justice. By doing this, we are making sure that everyone pays their fair share to help finance public goods.” Finance Minister Olaf Scholz

“As a federal authority and as the revenue administration’s central service provider, the Federal Central Tax Office is in an optimal position for purchases of data like this. We want to make sure that the data is made available to all relevant authorities. We sent the data to Länder tax authorities today and provided them with comprehensive information. Data that we receive through international exchanges of information will also be made available to the relevant Länder authorities.” Federal Central Tax Office President Maren Kohlrust-Schulz

On 14 January 2021, the Federal Ministry of Finance instructed the Federal Central Tax Office to conduct negotiations with an anonymous informant and to purchase the data. After the negotiations were concluded, the Federal Central Tax Office acquired the data on 10 February 2021. Since that time, the data has been edited so that it can be sent to and analysed by the competent Länder authorities.

The data contains extensive information on millions of taxpayers worldwide, including many thousands of German taxpayers, who hold assets in Dubai.

The purchased data will be used for the purpose of detecting tax crimes that have nationwide, international and/or major significance. The data can help shed light on unknown assets and undeclared income.

The illumination of cases with an international dimension helps to ensure tax compliance and tax enforcement and thereby to prevent major tax revenue shortfalls. This is a high priority for both the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Central Tax Office.