Germany Tackles 'Goldfinger' Tax Evasion

Recently, the German authority has raided over 200 private and domestic business presences, where potential risks of tax evasion were highly expected to be detected, with many investors and tax professionals arrested. The arrested were found involved in illegal gold trading to circumvent their tax liability.

Goldfinger

'Goldfinger' is a tax loophole in German domestic scheme where wealthy taxpayers could establish their private gold companies for gold transactions, but the dealings are re-characterised as “professional dealing” which is subject to a zero-percent professional rate under German tax law and has nothing to do with income tax or capital gains tax on their profits and earning. This was recognised by the authorities as early as 2012, but was only cracked down in 2013, when it was deemed to lead to a tax leak of billions. However, even after this loophole has been plugged, there are nonetheless tax professionals playing with this design to lighten their tax burden illegally.

Evasion with Financial Institution

Indeed, Germany is not the only country dealing with such gold tube evasion. In March 2017, the UK authority (HMRC) already launched an investigation into suspected tax evasion and money-laundering with the "global financial institution", where transactions involving gold, paintings, and jewelleries are employed to evade tax. Several raids occurred during that period by authorities in the Netherlands, Australia, France and Germany.

Sources: Handelsblatt Global, Reuters

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