Commerzbank Sent Interim Trades Report to German Tax Authorities

  • Bank hands overs voluntary report on trades made since 2003
  • Government scrutinizes bank over possible tax-reducing trades

Commerzbank AG said it’s handed German tax authorities an interim report on possible tax-minimizing trades and is preparing a final assessment.

The bank is in “close communication” with officials, spokeswoman Margarita Thiel said an in e-mailed statement. The report concerns so-called cum-ex stock trades made since 2003.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Friday that Commerzbank had received information about illegitimate tax-saving trades for foreign funds around dividend record dates for foreign funds. The bank has knowledge of “isolated cases” of the trades, the paper reported.

Germany’s government is looking at allegations that banks used a scheme to let clients reduce capital-gains tax by exploiting a legal loophole. Commerzbank, based in Frankfurt, said last week that it ensures “through comprehensive internal systems and controls that all trades are in line with the applicable law.”

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, responding to a separate report about Commerzbank’s use of so-called cum-cum trades, said last week in Berlin there’s an “excessive use that we don’t believe is legitimate.”

The FAZ newspaper said Friday that Commerzbank’s report found evidence of cum-cum trades that the bank wound down between 2003 and 2008, and also of cum-ex trades that are today regarded as illegitimate.

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