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The CumEx-files.png
DateOctober 18, 2018 (2018-10-18)[1]
TypeTax evasion
OutcomeLoss of roughly $63.2 billion.[1]
Countries affected by the fraud

The CumEx-Files is a tax fraud scheme discovered in 2017 by a collaboration between a number of European news media outlets.[1] A network of banks, stock traders and top lawyers had obtained billions from the European treasuries through suspected fraud and speculation with dividend tax. The five hardest hit countries may have lost at least $62.9 billion.[2] Germany is the hardest hit country, with around $36.2 billion withdrawn from the German treasury.[3] Estimated losses for other countries include at least €17 billion for France, €4.5 billion in Italy, €1.7 billion in Denmark and €201 million for Belgium.[4]


The network stole several billion Euros from the treasury, through what Correctiv calls a "cum-ex" trade:

The participants in the network would lend each other shares in large companies, so that to tax authorities there would appear to be two owners of the shares, when in reality there was only one. The bank that was used in stock trading would then issue a "confirmation" to the investor that tax on the dividend payment had been paid - without it actually being done. "It’s a bit like parents claiming a child benefit for two – or more – children when there is only one child in the family." writes Correctiv.[1] This practice was outlawed in 2012.[5]

The name "cum-ex" is derived from Latin, meaning "with without", and refers to the disappearing nature of the fraudulent dividend payments.[6][7]


State Commissioner August Schäfer first warned of the practice in 1992, after the testimony of five whistleblowers. However, they remained widespread until an administrative assistant in the central German tax office noticed abnormally large tax rebate claims from a US pension fund.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Cum-Ex trading scandal in Germany – A huge challenge for financial institutions and the insurance industry".
  2. ^ "Skattesvindel" [tax fraud] (in Danish). 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  3. ^ Vartdal, Ragnhild (18 October 2018). "Norge rammet av europeisk skatteskandale" [Norway hit by European tax scandal] (in Norwegian). Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  4. ^ "« CumEx Files » : la fraude fiscale à 55 milliards d'euros" ["CumEx Files": tax fraud for 55 billion euros] (in French). 18 October 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  5. ^ a b Hill, Jenny (2017-06-09). "Germany fears huge losses in massive tax scandal". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  6. ^ Matussek, Karin (18 October 2018). "Santander joins list of banks in German tax-dodge crackdown". Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  7. ^ "CumEx Files : comment des actionnaires utilisent la Bourse pour arnaquer le fisc" [CumEx Files: How shareholders use the Stock Exchange to scam tax] (in French). 18 October 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2018.

External links[edit]