Virus to slash almost €100bn off Germany's 2020 tax intake

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz

Germany expects the coronavirus pandemic to wipe almost €100 billion off the 2020 tax intake, according to latest estimates Thursday from the finance ministry.

"In comparison with the tax estimate from October 2019, tax intake for 2020 will be €98.6 billion ($106.4 billion) less than expected," the ministry estimate said. Tax revenues for 2021 through to 2024 are also due to fall way short of earlier forecasts, with the figure for next year to be down €52.7 billions.

That "is only a snapshot, the future course of the pandemic can not be forecast yet," warned Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.

Unprecedented stay-at-home measures imposed by governments worldwide to halt transmission of the coronavirus have had a devastating impact on the global economy.

As huge swathes of the population are forced to stay away from work and as trade and travel are severely curtailed, Europe's biggest economy has not been spared.

Germany has already slipped into a recession, and the economy is expected to shrink by 6.3% for the full year - the biggest contraction since 1949.

To help cushion the blow for companies and workers, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government has unveiled a massive rescue package worth over €1 trillion. It includes state-backed loan guarantees, direct cash injections and schemes to put workers on reduced hours to avoid layoffs.

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