Stuttgart (dpa) – After criticism of the new anonymous reporting platform for the determination of tax evaders in Baden-Württemberg, there is also a dispute over a possible similar model at the federal level.
Green Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock praises the offer and can imagine it nationwide too. SPD and FDP politicians are against it.
“We need to create places where you can also report if you know there is violent tax evasion,” the Green Chancellor candidate said on Wednesday evening on the “Bundestag election broadcast” on the TV channel. ProSieben. This will now be done in Baden-Württemberg and would in fact “also have been the job of a federal finance minister,” Baerbock said. “The next federal government should introduce this as well.”
Critics speak of “tax pillory”
The Union and the AfD accuse the Minister of Finance of the State of Baden-Württemberg, Danyal Bayaz (Greens), of not using the “tax pillory” to promote denunciation on the Internet. SPD parliamentary group financial policy spokesperson Lothar Binding now cuts in the same line: “It fosters a culture of mistrust, resentment, subordination and denunciation” and should not “seep into our society, “he told Bild television station. .
Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz spoke more cautiously: it was “important that we pay all our taxes fairly, and I guess most citizens do the same,” said the SPD candidate for the chancellor. Otherwise, there have been “very good practices” for a long time, in which case “the tax officials have to do their job”.
About three weeks before the parliamentary elections, FDP party leader Christian Lindner also rejected Baerbock’s request. It is true that the digitization of financial administrations is long overdue. But: “What we don’t need is a call from the state to denounce our neighbors,” Lindner told the Funke media group newspapers (Friday). “The demand the Greens are now making reveals distrust of citizens, not trust.”
Racists and agitators speak out
Bayaz had already been strongly criticized Wednesday for the establishment of the so far unique information portal. He has been violently attacked not only in the political arena, but also on social media by racists and agitators. The minister would report the worst insults, the finance ministry in Stuttgart said at the request of the German news agency.
There have been numerous inhuman, racist and sexist comments on his Twitter and Instagram accounts. The Ministry of Finance’s new portal for evidence of tax evasion also received emails containing violent slurs. “Newly Learned Today: Law & Order, But Please Not With Taxes,” Bayaz tweeted late in the evening.
The state finance minister dismissed the criticisms and pointed to the practice of all German tax services, which has been common for many years. The new anonymous information portal is a “complementary instrument in the fight for more tax justice”. Anonymous reports have been possible so far, by letter or telephone, and this is no different in other federal states. “In 2021, it is also expected to go live, hence the online system,” Bayaz said on Wednesday.
By the end of the year, Germany must also implement an EU directive to protect so-called whistleblowers, the finance ministry said on Thursday of the legal framework. According to this, federal and state authorities must provide a safe point of reporting for insiders who discover or forward grievances or criminal machinations.