European Court of Justice: Banks Cannot Rely on Secrecy Laws to Deny Taxes

General view of the buildings of the Court of Justice of the European Communities

General view of the buildings of the Court of Justice of the European Communities

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has stated that banking secrecy established in Austria cannot be relied upon by German bank branches in Austria to defeat tax authorities. Branches of German credit institutions in Austria must, therefore, provide information on accounts and assets to German tax authorities if a German customer is deceased to allow Germany to collect inheritance taxes. The highest German tax court, the Bundesfinanzhof in Munich, had gone to the ECJ after the Sparkasse Allgäu refused to reveal to the tax office all account balances of their deceased clients. The hunt for money is endless. Whatever may have been the rule of law is peeled away when they are desperate for money.

Meanwhile, the United States also wants to place an inheritance tax on Canadians who simply own property in the United States. This entire turn of events of going after inheritance taxes of non-citizens and the ECJ ruling that the laws of one country cannot block inheritance taxes in another continues to reveal the desperate increase in taxation.