Tax deals make sense for finance ministries
Friday 26 August 2011 - by Chas Roy-Chowdhury
The tax deals between Switzerland and the UK and German governments are very innovative. This is a wake up call to tax dodgers, and will flush some of them out of the system.
Certainly, if I had money held in a Swiss bank account that I hadn't declared I would be very nervous right now, anonymous or not. In the UK, HMRC are allowed to ask the Swiss for the account details of up to 500 individuals per year; for those with Swiss accounts it's like playing Russian Roulette with more than one chamber loaded. It's not a lottery I would like to be part of.
In the normative sense the deals are not fair for EU taxpayers, but they are realistic deals, and an important step towards getting finance ministries a significant part of the money that it is owed.
The bilateral agreements could cause some with Swiss accounts to move their money elsewhere, but tax evaders are starting to run out of friendly havens thanks to some good work by the various national governments.
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