The order to collect info on those affected comes nearly two years after the U.S. accused Germany of violating the NATO Status of Forces Agreement, an international treaty intended to put military pay and benefits off-limits to local tax collectors.
The case spotlights the financial danger faced by some U.S. military personnel in Germany at the hands of local tax offices, which have argued the SOFA treaty can be disregarded under certain circumstances.
A US military family in Bavaria is being targeted by German tax investigators, possibly signaling an expansion of a controversial tax collection operation to a state where tens of thousands of Americans are based
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he is unaware of a treaty dispute that has exposed scores of U.S. military personnel to hefty tax penalties at the hands of German finance authorities, but that he intends to look into the matter.
A key German lawmaker says it is “legally problematic” for local authorities to levy tax bills on U.S. forces and that Berlin must end double income taxation, which has financially devastated some military families.
German towns that house U.S. troops have expanded efforts to impose income tax penalties on some military personnel, say affected families and an attorney warning that an assignment in Germany carries growing financial risk.
Regional lawmakers in Germany are investigating why a finance office near Ramstein Air Base has stepped up efforts to collect income tax from American troops and military civilians, possibly breaching an international treaty that governs U.S. forces in the country.
U.S. Army Europe says it will step up efforts to warn troops and civilians about potential financial risks as local authorities attempt to levy German income tax on some members of the military community.
The move levies double taxation on an airman who already pays U.S. income taxes and potentially threatens service members who marry Germans or take any number of steps to integrate into life outside the base gates.
April 2, 2020
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