German Tax Amnesty Revenues Disappoint | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 19.05.2004
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German Tax Amnesty Revenues Disappoint

The German Finance Ministry has said in its monthly report that revenue from a tax amnesty, introduced last year to encourage citizens to declare income held abroad, has fallen far short of expectations so far. Revenue from the amnesty amounted to €48.4 million last month, bringing total income in the first four months in 2004 to €125 million, the ministry said. Finance Minister Hans Eichel was hoping the legislation would bring in €5 billion this year. The ministry said that the German government's financial shortfall from January to April amounted to €35.3 billion. The ministry however remains optimistic that the targeted amount could still be met. "It can be assumed that with large sums people will wait under the end of the year, to gain the interest from this year," it said in the report. Under the tax amnesty law, Germans can repatriate their foreign income without fear of legal consequences. The income will be taxed at a rate of 25 percent this year and rise to 35 percent until March 2005.