[credit provider=”Fernando de Sousa on Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/fernando/1233720908/lightbox/#/photos/fernando/1233720908/”]
British and Swiss governments have agreed to a landmark deal that allows the British government to tax the Swiss bank accounts of UK residents, reports the BBC.While the Swiss government will still keep the identity of the holders secret, the British government may be able to claim back between £3 billion and £6 billion ($4.9 billion and $9.8 billion).
The action is part of a coordinated move by the British government to end the practice of untaxed “off shore” bank accounts that lead to tax avoidance. For decades Swiss banking laws allowed complete secrecy for those banking there.
Those who disclose their accounts to the government will face penalties amounting to just 10% of the tax, while those who refuse may face penalties of up to 200% of their unpaid taxes.
The deal is similar to one Switzerland agreed with Germany two weeks ago, reports Reuters.