Tax officer: “The champagne corks popped in the bank”

Released on 01.10. 2021

  • View of the room in which the parliamentary committee of inquiry of the Hamburg citizenship on the “Cum-Ex tax money affair” meets. Photo: Ulrich Perrey

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Will the “Cum-Ex” scandal catch up with leading SPD politicians in Hamburg? After the explosive searches this week, the investigation continues in the Hamburg parliament.

Hamburg (dpa) – The Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry (PUA) of the Hamburg citizenship on the “Cum-Ex” scandal surrounding the Warburg Bank continued its work on Friday by questioning other witnesses.

Two employees from the tax authorities and the tax office for large companies were invited. Both refused to allow politicians to influence their decisions and their work Warburg Bank should have been asked to pay. “I was of the opinion that the money must be reclaimed,” he said – and added, with a view to the ultimately contrary decision: “The champagne corks popped in the bank.”

the tax office for large enterprises 2016 had expiration of the limitation period, first on tax claims against the Warburg Bank in the amount of 47 million euros waived. Further 43 million euros in capital gains tax were 2017 only requested after intervention by the Federal Ministry of Finance. The committee now wants to clarify whether leading SPD politicians have exerted any influence. The background to this are meetings between the then Mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz, and the co-owners of the bank, Max Warburg and Christian Olearius, in the years 2016 and 2017. At that time there were investigations against Olearius on suspicion of serious tax evasion.

Scholz had admitted the meetings in the committee of inquiry, but stated that he could not remember the content of the discussions. However, there was no influence on the tax procedure. Ultimately, the tax claims were only paid in full last year.

De Masi: SPD has to repay “dirty donation”

The SPD had 2017 According to Warburg Bank and its affiliated companies, donations amounting to 45. 500 Euros accepted, although the bank was already being investigated for cum-ex tax fraud at that time. 7500 Euro of the bank went to the SPD country organization, 38.000 Euro flowed to the SPD center of the former member of the Bundestag Johannes Kahrs.

In the meantime, the acceptance of donations is also viewed critically in the SPD. “With what we know today, we shouldn’t have accepted these donations,” said Finance Senator Andreas Dressel to the “Hamburger Abendblatt”. The left-wing member of the Bundestag Fabio de Masi called this realization “very late”. In the direction of the SPD he said: “The SPD Hamburg has to repay the dirty cum-ex donation immediately.” Hamburg had private rooms searched by Kahrs during a raid. There is an initial suspicion of preferential treatment.

In “Cum Ex” transactions, financial players postpone large blocks of shares with (“cum”) and without (“ex”) dividend entitlements around the dividend payment Due date in a tricky system and then taxes could be reimbursed several times. According to a ruling by the Federal Court of Justice, this is now punishable.

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