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Germany

Berlin Aims to Cut Extremist Groups' Tax Breaks

The German government has drafted a bill that would put an end to tax benefits for extremist groups. The move is intended to put pressure on the far-right NPD party, according to a German newspaper.

A skinhead shouting

Extremist organizations would lose their non-profit status under the proposed bill

A draft of the annual tax code for 2009, to be presented to German Cabinet members in early June, would limit tax privileges extend to German association and foundations that operate within the bounds of the country's Basic Law, or constitution, according to a report in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Saturday, May 3.

Left-wing protesters in Hamburg on May 1

Right and left-wing extremists clashed during May 1 demonstrations

"Tax breaks assume that the body's rules and actual administration do not promote any type of extremist ideology," the finance ministry's draft bill read, according to paper.

Under the proposed bill, organizations that do not act in accordance with German Basic Law would be denied status as non-profit organization and be forced to pay corporate taxes and would lose a series of other tax breaks.

Unable to agree on a whether to pursue an outright ban on the far-right NPD, several German state interior ministers have come out in favor of tightening the reins on groups that support the party. However, it remains unclear exactly how many such non-profit groups exist and how much the NPD relies on them for funding.

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