Tax agreement delivers £342m to Exchequer from Switzerland

First published in Business Daily

THE tax agreement between the UK and Switzerland which came into force on January 1 has delivered £342 million as the first tranche of revenue to the UK.

It is the first instalment of a levy on the accounts of UK taxpayers in Switzerland to cover arrears of tax that should have been paid to the UK.

Current and future tax liabilities will be covered by a new withholding tax of 48 per cent on income.

Under the agreement, people with taxable assets in Switzerland have a choice of authorising their financial institution to disclose the details to HMRC or have the levy and withholding tax applied by the institution.

Exchequer Secretary David Gauke said: “Our agreement with the Swiss Government will deliver around £5 billion of previously unpaid tax to the UK.

“The first down payment of 500 million Swiss francs has now been received. This is money which was owed to the UK and has now been paid.

“Offshore evasion costs the UK billions of pounds every year and we are determined to tackle it. One of the ways is through information exchange and this agreement makes it easier for HMRC to obtain information about UK taxpayers suspected of hiding money in Switzerland.”

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