Don't stash your cash in Switzerland

Opinion

Don't stash your cash in Switzerland

If you're an individual or a business with monies that you secreted away in Switzerland then you should be aware that HMRC now have an agreement in place with Swiss authorities that will see you paying more tax and which removes some of the Swiss banking secrecy.

Under the agreement, monies already in Switzerland will attract a one off charge that will be passed to HMRC of between 19 and 34 per cent to cover past tax liabilities. From 2013 there will be a 48 per cent withholding tax on investment income and 27 per cent tax on gains charged to UK residents. The charges will be waived if the taxpayer allows a full disclosure of their Swiss affairs to HMRC. Further, there will be a new information sharing provision between the Swiss and UK authorities.

Similar agreements exist with Lichtenstein and are being pursued with Panama and the British Virgin Islands - the point being that at some date in the future, HMRC will be able to pursue tax evaders around the globe.

This was first published in September 2011

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