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Germany Seen with Massive Tax Revenue Shortfall

Germany expects to gather €50 billion ($59.1 billion) less in taxes than previously forecast through 2007, according to an unnamed government official cited by Bloomberg News. Tax receipts this year may fall €7.5 billion short of the level estimated last November, casting doubt on Berlin's goal of preventing the deficit from breaching the EU limit for a fourth consecutive year, Bloomberg reported. In 2005, tax income will fall €14 billion short of an estimate drawn up in May 2003. Tax receipts in 2006 will be €15.3 billion below forecast, and the shortfall will be €13.1 billion in 2007, the official said. EU budget rules stipulate that members of the euro zone keep their deficits under 3.0 percent of gross domestic product. Germany's deficit hit 3.9 percent in 2003.