Germany Tightens Rules for Tax Dodgers

Germany Tightens Rules for Tax DodgersGermany Tightens Rules for Tax Dodgers

Germany is coming down harder on tax evaders, introducing draft legislation that foresees stricter rules for people who turn themselves in to escape punishment.

On Wednesday, the German cabinet adopted legislation that raises the statute of limitations for tax evasion to 10 years from five, dpa reported.

It also lowered the threshold at which tax dodgers who come clean can avoid having to pay an additional fine. Until now, anyone who admitted to evading less than 50,000 euros ($64,2385) was not required to pay an extra fine. Evading more than 50,000 euros came with a fine of 5 percent.

Under the new rules, evading more than 25,000 euros will come with a surcharge of 10 percent.

The stricter legislation comes as the storied president of the Bayern Munich soccer club Uli Hoeness is serving a three and a half year sentence for tax evasion, a case that spurred a fiery debate over economic justice.

Hoeness, a soccer legend who also played for West Germany's World Cup-winning team in 1974, turned himself into authorities but a judge ruled that his disclosure was incomplete and thus disqualified him from exemption from punishment.