<b>Germany - Berlin tax boffins set the agenda</b>
|Headline: Germany - Berlin tax boffins set the agenda
Date: March 2000
Author: David Shirreff
The proposed lifting of capital gains tax on corporate mergers and restructuring came as a big surprise to almost everyone. It could transform the face of corporate Germany. But do the tax experts know what they're doing? And will they take away with one hand what they're giving with the other? By David Shirreff
Germany's corporate bosses expect the government to listen to them. They have wanted a tax change for years, and in December they were finally promised one. But it wasn't what they had asked for: it was more.
How could a Social Democrat/Green coalition give the captains of industry and finance more than the Christian Democrats had ever dared to do while in office? The tax change was logical; it was long overdue. German companies had clearly lost competitiveness with Europe and the rest of the world. After the change in landscape forced by the euro, something was urgently needed to loosen up the corporate structures in Germany, and to end the cosy system of tax credits for German investors who kept investing in their own country.