Swiss account holders could face interest tax charges

Pa
Monday 25 October 2010 15:55
Comments

UK taxpayers with Swiss bank accounts could soon be forced to pay tax on the interest they earn on savings held there, it emerged today.

The Treasury is holding talks with the Swiss government over exchanging information to ensure that people with the accounts pay the right amount of tax.

The Government is asking the Swiss authorities to increase the amount of information they provide to HM Revenue & Customs when it asks for details on accounts held by UK taxpayers, Treasury sources said.

Switzerland has strict laws in place, under which it will not give details on people who have accounts with its banks, unless HMRC can provide a name and say which bank an account is held with.

The law forbids automatic information exchange, under which other countries, such as France and the US, send complete information to HMRC on accounts held by UK taxpayers.

A Treasury source said: "Ministerial negotiations have started between the Swiss and UK Government with the aim that UK residents with Swiss bank accounts pay tax on the interest they earn."

The Treasury is also thought to be asking the Swiss authorities to levy a so-called withholding tax on future interest that is earned on the accounts of UK taxpayers on behalf of HMRC.

The negotiations will also seek to find an agreement on how much tax should be paid on interest that has been earned in previous years.

Treasury sources stressed that the talks were at an early stage, and it is not yet known how much revenue may be raised as a result of them.

Germany is understood to be holding similar negotiations with the Swiss government.

An agreement between the UK and Liechtenstein, which covers a far smaller number of accounts, is expected to raise around £1 billion.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in