• Switzerland's news in English
 

Munich FC boss in Swiss bank tax evasion probe

Published: 21 Apr 2013 23:03 GMT+02:00

Hoeness, 61, revealed to Focus, the German news weekly, that he had voluntarily disclosed a Swiss bank account in January and is working closely with investigators on a tax evasion probe.

The football legend and prosecutors have declined to divulge the sums involved but Bild am Sonntag reported without citing its sources that Hoeness had already paid nearly €6 million in back taxes.

The head of the German tax union, Thomas Eigenthaler, said that based on that sum, Hoeneß had likely hidden at least €10 million in income.

Hoeness, who also draws income from a sausage company he co-founded, toldFocus that he had originally planned to come forward after a planned German-Swiss tax accord came into effect, which would have allowed him to settle the matter anonymously with a one-off payment.

But the centre-left opposition torpedoed the measure late last year on the grounds that it unfairly offered criminal amnesty to tax dodgers.

Five months ahead of a general election, the opposition Social Democrats leapt on the high-profile case as proving their point about the flaws in the mooted Swiss tax pact.

"Once again we are so surprised when a prominent case of tax evasion comes to light," SPD general secretary Andrea Nahles said in a statement.

"These cases are bad enough for the social cohesion of our country. But it is much worse when this behaviour is sanctioned by political leaders."

However Philipp Rösler, leader of the pro-business Free Democrats, junior partners in Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition, told Monday's Bild newspaper that Berlin aimed to take a firm line against tax cheats and that without the accord with Switzerland, many cases would go undetected.

Although Switzerland has recently cracked down on undeclared funds in a bid to clear its reputation as a tax haven, it has so far doggedly refused to consider lifting its banking secrecy practices.

Bayern host Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final, first leg on Tuesday as the German champions bid to reach their third European Cup final in four years.

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes played down the impact of the tax affair on the club.

"It's a private matter for the president," Heynckes said on Saturday.

"There are often stories of this nature, especially in the Munich media, but it is of absolutely no interest to my team." 

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Marathon Iran nuclear talks hit critical weekend
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (second right) with staff after a negotiation session in Lausanne on Friday. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Marathon Iran nuclear talks hit critical weekend

Marathon Iran nuclear talks headed on Friday towards a critical weekend as Britain said its foreign minister would join his US, Iranian and French counterparts in racing the clock to pin down a deal in Switzerland. READ  

Geneva-based UBP acquires Coutts business
Photo: AFP

Geneva-based UBP acquires Coutts business

Swiss family-owned bank Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) announced on Friday that it is acquiring the Royal Bank of Scotland's international private banking and wealth management business. READ  

Swiss probe 'animal cell' injection clinics
Woman receives anti-ageing treatment with cell stimulation at last year's Beauty Asia trade show in Singapore. Photo: Roslan Rahman/AFP

Swiss probe 'animal cell' injection clinics

Swiss health regulators say they have launched a criminal probe into dozens of clinics suspected of giving clients potentially dangerous animal cell injections as part of anti-ageing treatments. READ  

EPFL among 'fastest rising young universities'
Aerial view of EPFL's campus overlooking Lake Geneva. Photo: Alain Herzog

EPFL among 'fastest rising young universities'

Switzerland’s EPFL has been named to a list of the seven “fastest rising young universities in the world” by UK-based Times Higher Education. READ  

Geneva-airport cab fares 'priciest in Europe'
One alternative to expensive cab fares at Geneva's airport is free public transport. Photo: Geneva Airport

Geneva-airport cab fares 'priciest in Europe'

Taxi transfers from downtown Geneva to its airport are the most expensive in Europe, according to research released on Friday from a UK-based travel money specialist. READ  

Red Cross concerned over Yemen air strikes
Red Cross and Red Crescent flags at Red Cross Museum in Geneva. Photo: Julius Kusuma

Red Cross concerned over Yemen air strikes

The Geneva-based Red Cross expressed deep concern Thursday over the impact of Saudi-led air strikes on the Yemeni capital, urging all sides in the conflict to strive to spare civilians. READ  

Austrian driver suspect in fatal hit-and-run
Police investigate accident scene. Photo: Aargau cantonal police

Austrian driver suspect in fatal hit-and-run

Justice officials in the canton of Aargau said on Thursday they suspect a 45-year-old Austrian truck driver of manslaughter in a hit-and-run accident that killed a 79-year-old Swiss woman who was struck in a pedestrian crossing and dragged along the road for 500 metres. READ  

'Down-to-the-wire' Iran nuclear talks resume

US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart held down-to-the-wire talks in Lausanne on Thursday, with US officials insisting the contours of a historic nuclear deal were in sight just days before a deadline. READ  

Irishman confesses to stabbing wife 50 times
Port of Lutry on Lake Geneva. Photo: Roy Lindman

Irishman confesses to stabbing wife 50 times

A 49-year-old Irishman has confessed to savagely stabbing his wife to death in the vineyard village of Lutry in the canton of Vaud earlier this week, police said on Thursday. READ  

Train fares will not increase this year: SBB
Photo: SBB

Train fares will not increase this year: SBB

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) pledged on Thursday not to raise train fares this year following positive results for 2014 with higher ridership and increased profit. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Six steps for expats to get along better with the Swiss
National
Use of temporary staffing continues to rise in Switzerland
Sponsored Article
Need help with permits and registration in Switzerland?
National
Swiss foreign affairs minister touted as candidate for top UN job
National
One of Switzerland's most celebrated artists dies in Lucerne at 106
Business & Money
Swiss luxury brand Tag Heuer announces plans for smartwatch
National
Valais lights up 13 mountain peaks for 200th anniversary
Business & Money
Switzerland to avoid recession this year: Credit Suisse forecast
Business & Money
Europe's tallest hotel pitched for Swiss mountain village
National
Exlusive interview: surviving Swiss cousin remembers Anne Frank
National
New Credit Suisse chief executive 'offers hope for Africans'
Features
Top tips to help you find an apartment in Switzerland
Business & Money
American expat to make way for African as Credit Suisse CEO
National
Rising Swiss gender pay gap above European Union average
National
Political deal reached to enact Swiss holiday home restrictions
National
Optimism drives this year's Geneva International Motor show
National
Robust Swiss economy beats forecasts for 2014: government
Sport
Federer scores upset win against Djokovic for seventh Dubai title
National
Swiss train in collision near Zurich ignored stop signal: SBB
Technology
Switzerland best in world for per capita European patent filings
Education
New EPFL building to showcase art and science 'under one roof'
National
Same-sex marriage supported by most Swiss: opinion polls
National
New study finds Switzerland is world's best place to retire
National
Army official calls for Swiss women to undergo military training
National
New Swiss health campaign combats smoking as 'norm' for too many
Culture
Abba star Frida records song about first ascent of the Matterhorn
National
Swiss federal government unveils EU immigration quotas bill
Business & Money
HSBC Swiss private bank revelations 'tip of iceberg': whistleblower
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
National
Phil Collins' paralyzed ex-wife files lawsuit after Swiss complications
Culture
Gauguin on display in Basel touted as 'most costly painting ever'
Business & Money
Swiss Leaks: HSBC Swiss private bank 'catered to terrorists and crooks'
International
What's keeping British expats in Europe from voting in UK elections?
Business & Money
Trade balance bulges as Switzerland smashes record for exports in 2015
National
Swiss town's ploy against workers living in Italy 'not racist'
National
Architects propose skyscrapers for new Geneva 'urban centre'
Culture
Renowned Israeli conductor dies during symphony in Lucerne
International
Population of Swiss citizens abroad continues to expand
National
Vaud property salesman jailed over costly gambling addiction
National
Right-wing group seeks citizens' vote for national face veil ban
Health
Swiss doctors 'worst' for leaving foreign objects in patients
Features
Anglophone expats in Switzerland mine creativity to earn crust
National
Number of 'immigrants' swells to third of Swiss population: report
International
Pricey Switzerland tops latest global cost of living study
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

4,698
jobs available