An unexpected Swiss roll
Switzerland represents one of the biggest nuts to crack in terms of banking secrecy but the coalition government has pulled off something of a coup with its information exchange deal.
Of course it’s still in the fledgling stages, but a lot of noises are being made about the Swiss handing over data linked to account holders who may have UK tax liabilities.
Cue a shiver running down the collective spines of those who’ve hardly recovered from a whistleblower handing over stolen details of HSBC Switzerland account holders.
The potential for the deal to smoke errant taxpayers out of hiding cannot have been lost on the taxman. In fact the department is probably counting on it.
Clever really, especially when it’s clear the cash and resources needed to bankroll expensive investigations aren’t exactly abundant at the moment.
If HMRC bloodhound Dave Hartnett is feeling a little pleased at how things are developing in terms of offshore tax evasion, I wouldn’t be at all surprised.