Tax evaders off the hook?

So British residents’ cash which has been stashed away in Swiss bank accounts will be taxed.

The landmark deal that has been struck could lead to the HMRC enjoying a cash windfall of more than £5bn.

The Financial Times reported that “the agreement, which comes into force in 2013, respects bank secrecy by preserving the anonymity of UK account holders – a key Swiss demand”.

Chris Oates, head of Ernst & Young’s Tax Controversy team, told Reuters the agreement “may tempt Britons to move their money over the Swiss border into Liechtenstein” because “the Liechtenstein Disclosure Agreement only requires a back payment of taxes from 1999-2000 onward, rather than the total value of assets held in Switzerland”.

Is this really leading by example? One rule for taxpayers and another for tax evaders it appears.


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