The sports car manufacturer Porsche has to pay a fine of 40 million euros for incorrect tax returns.

In principle, it is about tax evasion in the amount of 30.1 million euros, because that is how high the Stuttgart public prosecutor's office puts in the "levy portion" of the total fine, which absorbs "the economic advantages of Porsche AG from the unlawful behavior".

There were incorrect and incomplete bookings in connection with tax-relevant matters, which "at least facilitated tax reductions".

The company has enriched itself with the tax savings.

Susanne Preuss

Business correspondent in Stuttgart.

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The public prosecutor determined this “negligent violation of the duty of supervision” in connection with the tax returns for the years 2009 to 2016 and thus justified the “punitive part” of the fine in the amount of 9.9 million euros.

The fine notice of July 6th is legally binding because Porsche has waived legal remedies.

The payment will be made to the state of Baden-Württemberg.

The Porsche board members leave the proceedings without any criminal consequences.

The proceedings against six current and former board members on suspicion of violating their supervisory duties have been discontinued.

An individual responsibility could not be determined, even if concrete violations were recognized at the working level of Porsche AG, according to the public prosecutor.

Raid in May 2019

The tax investigations had become public through a major raid. In May 2019, around 180 investigators searched several Porsche locations, authorities, a tax office and private rooms after the suspicion arose that a high-ranking official had passed information on to Porsche during an ongoing tax audit.

In the course of the proceedings, the long-standing works council boss Uwe Hück came into focus, who three months before the large-scale raid had been taken off very suddenly and without a comprehensible explanation at Porsche. He was not charged with anything because of disproportionately high remuneration, but other Porsche employees (including managers) were suspected of being unfaithful. However, the allegations are not sufficient for an indictment to be brought, as the public prosecutor writes: "The proceedings were discontinued after extensive investigations."

Uwe Hück, head of the works council, who was once celebrated by both colleagues and management, was also accused of failing to draw the line between private and business needs for years, and that this was well known, including in top management. The four board members concerned (active and former) are so guilty in this matter that the proceedings have been discontinued without sanction. Even Hück himself got off lightly.

He has to pay a "mid six-digit amount" to various charitable organizations. However, according to the public prosecutor's report, the proceedings had been suspended for the time being with the approval of the court against this payment. According to the previous investigations, evidence of the crime was not to be carried out, according to the reasoning in the public prosecutor's office - and the condition was "suitable to eliminate a public interest in criminal prosecution." Hück himself had initiated the tax proceedings in 2017 was once made public that he had paid taxes back.