Bild.de has broke the news of German police raids of Deutsche Bank and 50 other financial firms over tax-evasion charges.
The investigation involves 150 people suspected of evading VAT charges due in carbon trading schemes.
The taxes avoided add up to €1 billion, according to Bild.
Bild explains the tax scheme as this:
Dealers in different EU countries buy and sell permits which allow industrial enterprises to release a certain amount of greenhouse gases.
On the sale from dealer A to dealer B across a state border, no VAT is due. Upon the resale of the permits by dealer B to dealer C within the same country (i.e. Germany), VAT does become owed which dealer C can then claim back from the tax office.
Dealer B owes the authorities 19 per cent in VAT – it doesn’t pay, but pockets the 19 per cent and disappears off the market.
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