Tuesday, the 11.03.14 , written by editor Uli Hoeness, Boris Becker, Klaus Zumwinkel – the list of prominent tax evaders is long. Whether caught by self-report or by tax inspectors, they all have to answer in court or in public. But who has made a name for himself as the biggest tax evader due to particularly high sums? >
Nobody makes a name for themselves with tax fraud – not even celebrities like Uli Hoeneß or Alice Schwarzer. When rich people evade their taxes, the Germans clearly find this immoral . According to a Forsa survey, 99 percent of respondents consider tax evasion of the wealthy to be “out of order,” reports Wirtschaftswoche. The tax evaders themselves are usually remorseful. Others, like Alice Schwarzer , see themselves as victims of the media. How much she has evaded taxes is unclear. With a payment of 200,000 euros, she has been able to clear her tax account. Which prominent tax fraudster the Treasury has kept most money, shows the top 5 of the largest tax evaders.
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5th place of the most prominent tax evaders: ex-time editor-in-chief Theo Sommer
In fifth place of the prominent tax fraudsters is the former time editor-in-chief Theo Sommer again. He withheld taxes of 649,000 euros from income from freelance work to the tax office. After Sommer’s statement to the Hamburger Abendblatt, the failure comes from the fact that he always took care of his work, not his finances. Sommer speaks of his offense as a “folly” that he regrets. To remedy his tax debt, he had to accept great sacrifices for his pension and sell an apartment on Sylt, said the former editor-in-chief.
4th place: tax collector Klaus Zumwinkel
Place 4 of the prominent tax evaders goes to Klaus Zumwinkel, the former postmaster and chairman of Telekom and Postbank. He has 1.2 million euros passed the treasury . The public spectacle was especially the search of Zumwinkels Villa in Cologne. He returned as a result of the tax affair his Federal Cross of Merit and the Order of Merit of North Rhine-Westphalia.
3rd place: Boris Becker – from the tennis court to the courtroom
Third place went to Boris Becker with his tax fraud of 1.7 million euros . He pretended to have his main residence in Monaco for years. Actually, however, he mostly stayed in Munich. As a result, he was able to evade income and wealth taxes in the seven-digit range. Before the process, he paid already 3.1 million euros at the tax office and thus prevented a higher penalty. His sentence was two years probation and earned him a fine of 500,000 euros.
2nd place: Peter Graf hid millions of his daughter Steffi Graf
The father of another tennis legend, Steffi Graf, had to answer for an even higher sum in court. Peter Graf was convicted of tax evasion of 12.3 million marks, around 6.29 million euros . He concealed from the tax office an income of his daughter of the equivalent of 21.47 million euros. Peter Graf was sentenced to three years and nine months’ imprisonment, but was freed after 25 months for good conduct.
The impact of the tax moral of prominent role models on the “honest citizens” is shown by the Forsa survey mentioned earlier. According to it, 13 percent of respondents think it’s okay to apply one or two little cheats in their own tax returns. Many see this as a trivial offense or self-justice.
1st place: Largest German tax evader is …
The current developments in the Hoeneß process have long been exciting. The prosecution has initially charged the Bavarian President with tax fraud in seven individual cases and with evaded taxes of around 3.5 million euros. But the process had some surprises in store. After own confessions Hoeneß has not paid 18.5 million euros in taxpayer money. A spokesman for the Munich public prosecutor’s office finally estimated the tax debt at 27.2 million euros . This makes Uli Hoeneß the greatest German tax evader of recent years.
Update March 13, 2014: Hoeness was sentenced to three and a half years in prison today. The Munich Regional Court found him guilty of tax evasion in seven cases. The tax debt has grown again. It now amounts to 28.5 million euros due to the calculated solidarity surcharge. Hoeneß’s self-report, with which he wanted to secure impunity, the judges considered ineffective.
The tax moral of celebrities is poison for the tax honesty of citizens. Much more than the 13 percent mentioned above probably argue that if millions of people go after them, the little man can at least employ the cleaning lady in black or increase the advertising costs. The state costs such small offenses quickly 50 to 60 billion euros a year, estimates the German tax union .
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