Tax evaders or cheaters with residence in Germany's most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), need an extra input of aspirin against their soon arriving tax head-aches.
The left-of-center NRW government has recently bought some "stolen" financial and tax relevant data on CDs or DVDs from informants of prominent Swiss banks, paid millions of euros in order to get anticipated 100-fold compensation by retroactive taxation and fines.
Well, the windfall of taxes gained by administrative and criminal law enforcement shall make the government of SPD and Eco-Green smile, but it has surely contributed to making the Swiss government mad at this federal state solo action, undermining the MoUs and negotiations prior to the agreement with the Federal German gov't.
As of January 1st, 2013, Switzerland and Germany shall have a binding tax treaty which guarantees lump-sum interest tax payments on German "black money" hoarded at Swiss bank accounts. Well, this agreement hasn't been ratified so far; it will surely face hurdles in the upper house of German parliament, the Bundesrat, where 'red-green' federal states have more bloc votes than 'black-yellow' ones.
The money shall flow into federal treasury coffers but will be distributed to the federal states with a certain percentage.
This is obviously not enough for the NRW gov't, thus they try to get an edge by taking the lead in cashing in. Bargaining with illoyal bank employees, criminals (who "steal" internal bank secrets and breach the trust and confidentiality) in order to prosecute "white collar" criminals make them accomplices, too. Well, it can also be labled in Switzerland as clandestine intelligence work and bank espionage, sponsered and promoted by a foreign government.
The Swiss are pissed on, and the other federal state treasury ministries, as well as Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, pissed off by this unwanted NRW torpedoes.
OK, the intel obtained from the data by the NRW finance authorities might have shown a new pattern in hiding "black money". Allegedly, Swiss banks have assisted rich tax evaders to stash away their assets to Asian banks, namely in Singapore.
Well, the sparrow in your hand has more value that the dove on the roof, this is obviously the NRW way of thinking.
But, this tax intelligence approach of theirs could also backfire.
The fizzy source might dry out fast if the money really went to Asian banks.
Without having a tax-agreement with Singapore, the NRW intelligence work of getting confidential info from informants within those Asian banks might be a lot more difficult then.