The UK taxman is to broach the long-standing security of Swiss bank accounts,
using access to the accounts obtained by Germany.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is linking up with the German tax authorities
to make use of their recent disclosure agreements with the Swiss,
Sunday Times reported.
Tens of thousands of British people are thought to have bank accounts in
Switzerland, whose banking system has long been a byword for hidden cash.
The German government has agreed a ‘mutual assistance’ treaty with the Swiss
which states that banking secrecy cannot be used to block the release of
documents in cases punishable by imprisonment.
HMRC will have to supply allegations to obtain information, however, and
cannot ‘fish’ for information.
Drugs barons and City fraudsters are expected to be the first target of the
The Sunday Times quoted ‘a senior official at HMRC’ saying: ‘Our reading of
the law is quite clear. Germany has the agreement with the Swiss, and we have an
agreement with the Germans…Until now we have not had the opportunity to get at
the Swiss assets of British tax dodgers.’
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