Are the days of the secret Swiss bank account over ?

 In Uncategorized

For those of you with clients who make use of Swiss bank accounts but keep you (as their advisor) in the dark, the following might be worth mentioning to them:

Switzerland has signed a deal with the EU to combat allegations of tax fraud on a huge scale. Tax evasion in Switzerland is dealt with by civil (financial) penalties rather than criminal prosecutions. As a result the EU cross-border agreements between law enforcement agencies cannot work.

The deal signed with the EU will see all Swiss bank accounts charged with a flat tax, and in return Swiss citizens will be able to move freely, without passports, within the EU. The timescale from the EU point of view is for this to happen early in 2006. However, it is subject to a referendum and if the Swiss public have any sense they will vote against this.

Other countries refusing to share information about their banking clients include Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg.

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