Swiss to hand HMRC tax ‘hit list’

by Calum Fuller

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28 May 2014

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Zurich Street on Swiss National Day

THE SWISS GOVERNMENT is poised to pass HMRC a "hit list" of ten nations where holders of Swiss bank accounts siphon their money to.

Under the terms of the tax agreement between the two countries, Swiss banks will inform HMRC by 31 May of the top ten destinations to which money removed from suspect bank accounts in Switzerland has been sent.

HMRC is expected to use the list provided by the Swiss Government to help them plan, with "pinpoint accuracy", their next moves against UK taxpayers who are evading tax due on money they have sent to overseas tax havens.

In addition, the treaty also requires the Swiss authorities to inform the UK of how many UK nationals have moved their money from a Swiss bank account to each of the listed countries.

Pinsent Masons head of tax Jason Collins said: "This is another tightening of the noose on tax evaders. HMRC is aware that money that could have been regularised under the UK/Swiss treaty has been flooding out of Switzerland instead - and they are determined to track that money down."

"This Swiss/UK treaty has already dramatically increased the amount of information that HMRC has on possible tax evaders. The hit list of top ten countries will be another key piece of the jigsaw. HMRC will now know exactly where to focus its efforts."

An HMRC spokesman said: "The Exchequer has already received £800m that it wouldn't have without the agreement. As the OBR forecast shows, there is more expected to come."

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