Britain, Switzerland conclude tax deal: Bern

24th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Switzerland and Britain have concluded a tax deal to regularise any hidden assets held by British taxpayers in the alpine state, the Swiss Finance Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

In future, investment income and capital gains arising from these assets would also be covered by a final withholding tax, at a rate of between 27 and 48 percent.

Swiss banks would pay 500 million francs to British tax authorities, a sum which would be offset by any voluntary payments by British taxpayers.

"Today in Zurich, British and Swiss negotiators concluded the negotiations on outstanding tax issues and initialled a tax agreement," said the ministry.

"Under this agreement, persons resident in the United Kingdom can retrospectively tax their existing banking relationships in Switzerland either by making a one-off tax payment or by disclosing their accounts," it added.

Those who choose to make an anonymous lump-sum payment would be taxed between 19 to 34 percent of the assets. The magnitude of the tax rate would depend on the duration of the account held in Switzerland, as well as the sum of capital.

The deal is largely similar to another accord struck between Switzerland and Germany in August 10, which also allows German taxpayers to regularise their hidden assets through a one-off lump sum tax payment at the same tax rates.

© 2011 AFP

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