Banks pay HMRC half a billion Swiss francs
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29 January 2013 - HM Revenue
The ground breaking tax agreement between the UK and
Switzerland which came into force on 1 January 2013 has delivered £342
million as the first tranche of revenue to the UK.
This is the first instalment of a levy on the accounts of UK taxpayers
in Switzerland to cover arrears of tax that should have been paid to
Current and future tax liabilities will be covered by a new withholding
tax of 48 per cent on income.
Under the agreement, people with taxable assets in Switzerland have a
choice of authorising their financial institution to disclose the
details to HMRC or have the levy and withholding tax applied by the
Exchequer Secretary David Gauke said:
“Our agreement with the Swiss Government will deliver around £5 billion
of previously unpaid tax to the UK.
“The first down payment of 500 million Swiss francs has now been
received. This is money which was owed to the UK and has now been paid.
“Offshore evasion costs the UK billions of pounds every year and we are
determined to tackle it. One of the ways is through information
exchange and this agreement makes it easier for HMRC to obtain
information about UK taxpayers suspected of hiding money in
1. The UK-Swiss tax agreement was signed on behalf of the UK by
Exchequer Secretary David Gauke in London on 6 October 2011. It came
into effect on 1 January 2013.
2. HMRC will also gain intelligence about the destinations of those who
try to evade paying their taxes by pursuing the ever diminishing stock
of tax havens. These individuals risk penalties of up to 200 per cent
when caught, so the only realistic option is to talk to HMRC about the
best way to get on the straight and narrow.
3. HMRC has recently published a handy guide to the agreement: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxtreaties/swiss-dis-factsheet.pdf.
As well as explaining the options available under the agreement, this
factsheet provides details of the other ways in which individuals can
ensure that their tax affairs are brought up to date. It includes
contact details for those who now wish to make a direct disclosure to
3.1. Where the payment option is chosen any past liability to specified
taxes will be dealt with by paying a one-off charge of up to 41 per
cent of the total value of the account.
There will be a withholding tax to deal with the tax on income and
gains. Rates currently range from 27 per cent in respect of capital
gains up to a maximum of 48 per cent for interest or other non-dividend
4. Five hundred million Swiss francs is approximately three hundred and
forty million British pounds at current exchange rates.
5. The payment is being made by the Swiss banks in advance of the
one-off charge being levied on their customers.
6. Account holders should contact:
Offshore Coordination Unit S0987
PO Box 29992
Email contact: email@example.com
7. Follow HMRC on Twitter @HMRCgovuk
8. HMRC’s flickr channel www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-01-31 13:04:29 in Tax Articles