After the whirlwind of tax fraud with "cum-ex" transactions, other billion-dollar deals are now coming to the fore: With the help of so-called "cum-cum" transactions, banks should at least comply with the tax authorities not only in Germany but in many countries around the world Have pulled 140 billion euros out of their pockets.

These are estimates by the Mannheim tax professor Christoph Spengel.

The NDR and the Correctiv research network previously reported on it.

Corinna Budras

Business correspondent in Berlin.

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This is a significantly higher amount than previous calculations from 2018 have shown.

Originally, Spengel had assumed damage amounting to 55 billion euros, which occurred in eleven European countries.

Now he and his team have expanded the calculations to include additional countries in which investors could also turn a big wheel on the basis of domestic tax rules.

In France in particular, financial institutions have benefited from the unsuspecting authorities.

Spengel is assuming a loss of around 33 billion euros there.

For Germany itself, it has increased the amount from an earlier estimated 25 billion euros to 28.5 billion euros.

In addition, there is further damage amounting to more than 7 billion euros, mostly through cum-ex transactions.

Dubious dealings in stocks 

In cum-cum transactions, too, the focus is again on tax refunds in connection with dividend payments. Similar to Cum-ex, the actors benefit from the fact that the state reimburses taxes even though they are not entitled to it. The difference in the designation is that the shares are sometimes traded with, ie “cum”, dividend and sometimes without, ie “ex”. "Cum-cum" deals are stock deals that are initiated before the dividend date.

In addition, foreign investors play a special role, because in many countries around the world they are treated differently from tax law than domestic institutions, including in Germany. While domestic investors can have their tax refunded once they have paid, foreign companies can only do so to a limited extent. In these cases, German banks, such as Commerzbank, borrowed the shares for the period in which the dividend was paid out. The German companies had their capital gains tax refunded - and then shared the payment with the foreign business partner who actually owned the shares.

These calculations are based on figures from the Bloomberg news service on the proportion of shares in large listed companies held by foreign investors.

In the German Dax share index, this share is 70 percent.

Spengel and his team assume that half of the foreign investors were involved in such cum-cum deals.

This is how Spengel arrives at the sum mentioned, which he considers “conservative”.

Are business going on?

He goes one step further: The Mannheim university professor, who has been researching the transactions intensively for several years, still believes it is possible that these transactions will be carried out at the expense of the tax authorities.

The legal options are there.

The Federal Ministry of Finance denies this: "Several regulations have been tightened, indications have been followed up and abuse stopped," said a spokeswoman for the FAZ. The Federal Ministry of Finance receives regular reports on cum-ex and cum-cum arrangements from the federal states.

There is no evidence that such transactions were still carried out after 2016.

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