In addition to his role as a dictator who started World War II and sent millions of people to their deaths in concentration camps, Adolf Hitler was a tax evader, according to a recent report.
Hitler spent years evading taxes and owed German authorities 405,000 Reichsmarks -- equivalent to $8 million today -- by the time his tax debts were forgiven soon after he took power, Reuters reported last week.
Researcher Klaus-Dieter Dubon, a retired Bavarian notary and tax expert, told the news agency that Hitler's tax records, found in a Munich archive, show that the dictator battled tax collectors for eight years before becoming chancellor in 1933.
"Hitler owed tax but didn't pay it, full stop," Dubon told Reuters on Friday. "He was constantly challenging tax office rulings on his income tax between 1925 and 1932, just like a common citizen. After taking power he didn't pay tax anymore."
According to the report, Hitler earned 1.232 million Reichsmarks in 1933 from sales of his book, Mein Kampf, and should have paid tax on 600,000 Reichsmarks of that income but didn't. Hitler, listed as an "author" in the tax office records, also challenged, delayed or begged permission to pay in installments taxes owed on income he got in preceding years for speeches.
Dubon said that Hitler's book earnings were "a huge income," considering that teachers then had annual salaries of 4,800 marks and that, as chancellor, Hitler only earned 44,000 Reichsmarks in 1933 -- which he told the tax office he had donated to a charity for widows, but didn't, according to the report.
To lower his taxable income, Hitler reportedly tried to write off his new Mercedes in 1925 as a "company car," and tried to get costs for a desk, book shelves, travel costs, a chauffeur and private secretary deducted from his income tax, along with other "professional expenses." Reuters noted that his troubles with the Munich tax office vanished suddenly shortly after he took power in 1933.
Register or login for access to this item and much more
All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.
Community members receive:
- All recent and archived articles
- Conference offers and updates
- A full menu of enewsletter options
- Web seminars, white papers, ebooks
Already have an account? Log In
Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access