/11 Wealth

Jan Stradtmann

The Tax Dodgers' Footpath

“The series depicts customs houses at the border crossings between Germany, Austria and Switzerland. These localities in the three-country triangle are the landmarks of international money traffic – of a route favored by those who try to bypass the tax authorities of either country and use the loophole to black-market mainly two goods: cash money and securities.

The political background to the series is to be seen in the planned tax agreement between Germany and Switzerland first signaled in the 2010 Credit Suisse-deal with the German government. Here, the bank sold data of its clients – holders of presumably clandestine Swiss bank accounts – to German tax authorities. Since that point the nervousness of German tax dodgers has increased along with the money traffic and customs controls.

Statistics claim that only “in the first three months of 2012 German customs officials uncovered an amount of 645.00 euros in cash plus bank documents detailing foreign assets worth a total of 86 million euros”* while searching vehicles in the German-Austrian-Swiss border triangle. The main suspects: German wayfarers with Swiss bank accounts who fear that their names might show up in one of the official lists and who therefore clear their accounts and smuggling their money or bonds – cash and paper – back home, once more dodging taxes.”

(*Sonnemann Magazine No. 9_7/2012)