In an historic deal with the Swiss, the UK is set to start capturing up to £5bn in taxes without ever knowing the identity of the taxpayers holding their money is Swiss banks. The total amount taxed would be on as much as 34% of hidden sums but this has set off an angry wave by aboveboard taxpayers with legitimate accounts in the UK.
For years, the Swiss have been adamant about their policy of not revealing the identity of anyone who holds money in Swiss banks. This new deal, according to David Gauke, Treasury Minister, would not require the Swiss to abandon their secrecy policy whatsoever.
Unfortunately, even though the UK will be getting much needed tax revenue, UK taxpayers don’t see it in quite the same light. It is still much like being slapped in the face since regular taxpayers pay the full amount and government knows exactly what they have and how much they owe. If taxes aren’t paid in full, they can and will be fined.
The mechanics of the deal are set up so that beginning in the year 2013 the Swiss banks will be taxing at amounts from 19% to 34% of the sum hidden. The exact amount will be dependent upon how long those accounts have been in existence.
Other considerations will be levies on those accounts, the amount depending on the type of account and how the money was gained. This is in keeping with the UK’s focus on tracking down off shore accounts in which UK tax payers have hidden money and could amount to as much as £5bn being handed over by the Swiss authorities to HMRC.
A similar deal between the Swiss and Germany was reached earlier in the month and although UK taxpayers will still maintain anonymity, it is a huge victory for the UK.