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Short Update: German Federal Bar Association says COVID-19 must not be an excuse to push for criminal tax legislation

FairTrialsAdmin - June 18, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, New criminal offences

On 15 June 2020, the German Federal Chamber of Lawyers ("Bundesrechtsanwaltskammer") criticised the Second Corona Tax Assistance Act ("Zweites Corona-Steuerhilfegesetz") because, among other things, it provided for new rules regarding the confiscation of time-barred tax claims and an extension of the limitation period for prosecution of serious tax evasion cases from 20 to 25 years. The Chamber claims these changes were "pushed through" under the COVID-19 legislation, though there was neither a particular urgency for these changes nor a content-related connection with the COVID-19-Pandemic or its economic consequences. The Second Corona Tax Assistance Act will be subject to a consultation of the Financial Committee of the German Bundestag on 22 June 2020. It is expected to come into force by 1 July 2020. 

Update: On 29 June, the law has been adopted by both the German Bundestag and the German Bundesrat.  It will come into force on 1 July 2020.

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