Tax dodgers come clean

German tax authorities yesterday reported a surge in the number of tax dodgers who are turning themselves in after the government decided to buy stolen Swiss bank account data from a whistleblower.

Lawyers specialising in tax crimes are also noticing a brisk upturn in business as Germans, who hold an estimated €200bn in undeclared funds in Switzerland, are scrambling to come clean to avoid criminal prosecution.

“There’s been a delightful rise in tax compliance,” said Daniel Abbou, spokesman for the finance department in the city of Berlin after 74 people volunteered this week to pay back taxes on previously undeclared income. “There are usually about 200 people per year who turn themselves in for evaded taxes. This week there have been 55.”