Swiss official sees deal 'in principle' with Germany on tax

21st October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Switzerland has reached an agreement in principle with Germany to regularise undeclared German taxpayers' assets, a senior Swiss government official said in a newspaper interview on Thursday.

"We do not yet have a concrete figure, but we have reached an agreement with Germany on the principle and the formulation of this," Swiss state secretary for international financial affairs Michael Ambuehl told the daily Tages- Anzeiger.

Ambuehl said he expected formal signature of a new accord between Switzerland and Germany on taxation "before the end of October".

Germany has been one of the fiercest European critics of the impact of Switzerland's banking secrecy in recent years, complaining that it encouraged German taxpayers to hide money in Swiss bank accounts.

In July, German authorities raided branches of Credit Suisse in Germany as part of a tax evasion probe, five months after officials in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia bought a computer disc for a reported 2.5 million euros (3.2 million dollars) with information on secret Swiss accounts.

German media have estimated that formal agreement between the two countries on taxation could be worth up to 30 billion euros for German state finances.

Ambuehl said an agreement would also deal with tax on new capital deposits in Switzerland, increased access to German markets for Swiss banks and a deal over the handling of stolen data.

© 2010 AFP

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