US military tax penalties by German authorities “Nothing on my radar”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was unaware of the dispute in the US-German treaty, which exposes a large number of US military members to heavy tax penalties from German financial authorities.

Blinken, who stayed in Germany on September 8 and discussed the evacuation efforts of his allies in Afghanistan with US allies, promised reporters that he was “unaware” of the issue but would “investigate.” Said. The Star-Spangled Banner was reported..

“I’m sorry, [it’s] I don’t know, but if the embassy can solve the problem, I would like the embassy to pick it up. I’ll look it up again, “Blinken told reporters. “It wasn’t on my radar.”

How tax disputes NATO Status of Forces AgreementOriginally signed in 1951, it should be interpreted. Blinken, as head of the State Department, oversees the resolution of problems.

The agreement aims to keep the wages of military personnel, Pentagon civilians, and contractors (also taxed by US authorities) off limits to German authorities.

However, military personnel have been punished by German authorities, forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars in German income tax, and are reportedly facing the threat of imprisonment and bank account freezes.

Last year, it was reported that German tax collectors were trying to collect personal information such as detailed work history, real estate holdings, employee names, etc. about U.S. military personnel in order to file a tax liability lawsuit against the military. ..

Authorities asked U.S. military personnel to see if they were in Germany for reasons other than military service, such as being married to Germany, owning German assets or German-spec vehicles, and with the state. It is reportedly suggesting a special relationship.

Unless you can prove that you are “willing to return” to the United States, you may be obliged to pay taxes to the German authorities on military spending received while in the country. However, the legal criteria for establishing motivation are fairly vague and are determined on a case-by-case basis. Star-Spangled Banner.

A questionnaire sent by the Landstuhl-Kusel Tax Office shows American service members whether their children have attended German schools and their national and international assets to provide a list of them. I asked multiple questions about. Their travel day to Germany, Reported by

The U.S. claims that these attempts by German authorities violate NATO’s SOFA, Last year, I filed a formal complaint. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and other German leaders said they were interested in resolving the conflict.

Given his role as the head of the State Department, it’s unclear why Blinken is unaware of this issue.

In July, the U.S. Embassy in Germany, which is leading tax negotiations with the German government, said Said working to deal with the problem However, it does not provide any further details.

“I will not comment on diplomatic exchanges, but the embassy and military command are aware of this long-standing problem and are working closely to address what we believe is a misunderstanding of NATO’s SOFA. We are working together, “Scott Robinson, a spokesman for the US Embassy, ​​said in Berlin. “The Pentagon and the Department of State are working towards a solution.”

Catabella Roberts

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