Lawyers demand millions for tax misprint

26th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

26 July 2007, Munich (dpa) - A woman operating a sausage stand on a Munich street was horrified to receive a tax bill for 2.1 billion euros (2.9 billion dollars) and phoned her accountant to have the obvious mistake fixed.

26 July 2007

Munich (dpa) - A woman operating a sausage stand on a Munich street was horrified to receive a tax bill for 2.1 billion euros (2.9 billion dollars) and phoned her accountant to have the obvious mistake fixed.

On Wednesday, it was the tax department's turn to be horrified - by a huge damages claim before a Munich court, because it took too long to correct the misprint to a grand total of 108.82 euros.

Judge Helga Marek gave both sides till August 29 to consider a compromise.

Canny lawyers spotted a dream chance: the level of damages is defined by the fee scale for German tax advice.

By that measure, the misprint was worth 2,515,661 euros. Two lawyers, Zeno Anzenberger and Georg Oswald, bought the dream claim from the street vendor and told the court they would accept 600,000 euros as a compromise.

The sausage supplier told the court she received the claim in late December 2006 and phoned the tax office, where an official promised to fix the error but had not done so by the eve of January 9 when the bill fell due.

The accountant complained and the misprint was corrected a week later.

Judge Marek suggested the state of Bavaria's tax service pay 15,000 euros damages for sloppy work.

DPA

Subject: German news

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