German prosecutors raid Porsche in corruption probe

Prosecutors in Stuttgart said they raided German sports car maker and Volkswagen subsidiary Porsche on Tuesday on suspicion that an auditor was bribed to pass information to the company's tax advisor.

German prosecutors raid Porsche in corruption probe
Porsche cars for sale in Bremen. Photo: DPA

The investigators suspect that “an official from the Stuttgart business audit office revealed confidential information to a tax advisor of Porsche AG and accepted benefits in exchange,” they said in a statement.

Almost 200 police and prosecutors searched the luxury car maker's offices, tax collectors' offices, a tax advisor's office and private homes in and around Stuttgart for paper and digital documents.

On top of the bribery probe, investigators suspect the company made “unjustified” and “disproportionately large” payments to a former works council member.

Six people, including some from the company leadership, “may have committed fraud against Porsche AG” they said.

Porsche confirmed to AFP that the searches had taken place, adding that the carmaker “is cooperating fully with the authorities.”

On top of the bribery probe, investigators suspect the company made
“unjustified” and “disproportionately large” payments to a former works
council member.

They “may have committed fraud against Porsche AG,” said prosecutors.

The former works council member was not one of the people under suspicion, prosecutors said.

Earlier this month, Porsche agreed to pay a fine of 535 million over its role in the separate “dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal.

Its parent company Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to manipulating 11 million vehicles worldwide to appear less polluting in the lab than on the road.

SEE ALSO: Luxury carmaker Porsche fined 535 million over diesel cheating scandal

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Beskæftigelsesfradraget: What is Denmark’s employment allowance?

Denmark's government may soon announce changes to its tax reform plans, which will give all wage earners a bigger employment allowance. What is this and how will it affect foreigners' earnings?

Beskæftigelsesfradraget: What is Denmark's employment allowance?

What is the employment allowance? 

The Beskæftigelsesfradraget (from beskæftigelse, meaning employment, and fradrag, meaning rebate) was brought in by the centre-right Liberal Party back in 2004, the idea being that it would incentivise people to get off welfare and into a job.

Everyone whose employer pays Denmark’s 8 percent AM-bidrag, or arbejdsmarkedsbidrag, automatically receives beskæftigelsesfradraget. Unlike with some of Denmark’s tax rebates, there is no need to apply. The Danish Tax Agency simply exempts the first portion of your earnings from income taxes. 

In 2022, beskæftigelsesfradraget was set at 10.65 percent of income with a maximum rebate of 44,800 kroner. 

How did the government agree to change the employment allowance in its coalition deal? 

In Responsibility for Denmark, the coalition agreement between the Social Democrats, the Liberals and the Moderate Party, the new government said it would set aside 5 billion kroner for tax reforms.

Of this, 4 billion kroner was earmarked for increasing the employment allowance, with a further 0.3 billion going towards increasing an additional employment allowance for single parents.

According to the public broadcaster DR, the expectation was that this would increase the standard employment  allowance to 12.75 percent up to a maximum rebate of 53,600 kroner. 

How might this be further increased, according to Børsen? 

According to a report in the Børsen newspaper, the government now plans to set aside a further 1.75 billion kroner for tax reforms, of which nearly half — about 800 million kroner — will go towards a further increase to the employment allowance. 

The Danish Chamber of Commerce earlier this month released an analysis in which it argued that by raising removing all limits on the rebate for single parents and raising the maximum rebate for everone else by 20,300 kroner, the government could increase the labour supply by 4,850 people, more than double the 1,500 envisaged in the government agreement. 

According to the Børsen, the government estimates that its new extended allowance will increase the labour supply by 5,150 people.