Switzerland Mulls 'White Money Strategy'

By ExpatBriefing.com Editorial 23 February, 2012

Switzerland’s Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf has recently put forward the idea of compelling Swiss banks to obtain in future a declaration from their foreign clients confirming that their assets held in the Confederation are correctly taxed.

Under the Swiss Finance Minister’s proposal, and within the framework of the government’s new “white money strategy” (Weissgeldstrategie), Swiss banks would not only be required to obtain such a self-declaration, but would also be required to investigate cases of suspected tax evasion, or cases involving, for example, cash payments from an unknown origin.

Widmer-Schlumpf’s proposal, due to be presented shortly to the Swiss Federal Council, is based on the Liechtenstein model, requiring the Principality’s banks under the terms of an agreement with the UK to obtain proof from their British clients that their wealth is correctly taxed.

The Swiss Finance Minister hopes that the proposal will serve to gain much needed support from the Social Democrats in parliament for the additional report on the new double taxation agreement with the US, designed to pave the way for a global solution in the ongoing tax dispute with the US authorities.

The Swiss parliament is due to vote on the new provisions of the Swiss-US bilateral DTA at the beginning of March.

Tags: Individuals | Expatriates | Compliance | Tax | Investment | Tax Compliance | Tax Avoidance | Law | Banking | International Financial Centres (IFC) | Liechtenstein | Offshore | Offshore Banking | Switzerland |


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