利用這種收銀機可以省下大筆的稅費。相片:iStock

一對旅居德國的香港兄弟,開發一種作弊收銀機,幫助店家藉減少記錄營業額而少交稅款,至少有上千家亞洲餐館裝置這款特殊收銀機,逃稅總額至少超過5億歐元(約5.7億美元)。

這對香港兄弟,分別是58歲的Siu Fan P.和56歲的弟弟Siu Hong P.,已在德國生活多年,都已加入德國籍,已在去年7月被捕,預定本月底受審。受審罪名是「涉嫌協助和教唆逃稅」,被起訴的是他們幫助8家餐館逃稅,逃稅金額約600萬歐元。

德國之聲中文網報導,這兩兄弟製造這款收銀機的基地位於北威州蓋爾森基興(Gelsenkirchen)。這種經過改裝的收銀機操作簡單,只需輸入一個密碼就能啓動,系統會提供德語、中文、英語和荷蘭語的選擇。兩兄弟的「Multiway」收銀機直到去年夏天都是熱銷品,這些機器從未出現在任何展銷會,兩人在德國《華商報》上打過廣告。

查稅人員 「臥底」發現了「Multiway」收銀機的秘密。稅務人員最初只是在下薩克森州懷疑約30家小餐館有逃稅的嫌疑,進而進行調查,才發現原來問題關鍵在收銀機,稅務人員先在可疑的餐館中消費,拿到結帳小票後拍照,並把小票留在桌面上,隨後對餐館進行檢查,一經核對,該小票沒有出現在收銀機的記錄中,也從這家餐館進行調查,赫然發現逾千家餐館涉案。

利用這種收銀機可以省下大筆的稅費。一名40歲的女性在德國經營一家亞洲餐廳,自2012年接手這家餐廳開始,一半營業額都用「Multiway」銀機偷偷抹消了,短短不到4年的時間里隱瞞數額逾90萬歐元。她被判處兩年監禁,緩期執行。

德國政府缺少處理這種技術犯罪的專家。兄弟倆在去年7月被捕,本月會在下薩克森州的奧斯納布呂克市出庭受審。該州接手生活在魯爾區嫌犯的案件,是因為奧爾登堡稅務局聘請了幾位能夠駕馭並會破解系統密碼的IT專家調查員。根據專家破解這款特殊收銀機的系統,發現是將一般收銀機內加裝一套程式,可以「無痕刪除」餐館的部分營業額,進而減少交稅。

這兩名男子可能要為逃稅收銀機付出昂貴的代價:德國邦財稅法院2015年在一次緊急審理程序中做出決定,提供收銀機作弊軟件,幫助他人逃稅者,不僅要面對刑事訴訟,還得上交罰款,需補交收銀機買家偷漏的全部稅費。

柏林稅務局去年公佈的數字反映了餐飲界偷稅現象有多嚴重:柏林約共有1.5萬家飯店、快餐小吃店和咖啡店,稅務局去年抽查了1,132家店,有95%都查到稅務問題,大多問題不大,但有31起已啓動刑事訴訟程序。

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