Barclays Under Investigation by German Tax Authorities

By Marc Castro

Jun 22, 2013 02:03 PM EDT

Barclays is currently under investigation by German tax authorities over the misuse of legal loopholes which it had utilized to cut back on the tax bill of the financial instittution amounting to billions of euros. This was confirmed by a German newspaper report last Saturday.

According to the German newspaper, Daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, German authorities had obtained bank documents that was dated between 2007 and 2010 where Barclays had mapped out tax loopholes it had found. These were related to short selling transactions before and after the dividend payout dates for stocks.

The bank had used a trading platform it operated out of Luxemborg to obtain more tax credits over and above the tax it had paid in these specific transactions according to the paper.

These specific trades had recurred for more than ten years until 2012, costing taxpayers about Eur280 million per year according to Sueddeutsche. It had cited documents from the German finance ministry. 

The German authorities are now investigating if these actions took advantage of those loopholes and amounted to tax evasion. It would also review if back taxes are due from Barclays. 

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