UK agrees tax deal with Swiss banks

25 August 2011

Authorities in the UK have agreed a deal with banks in Switzerland to tax money held in the country's accounts.

It is the first time such costs have been charged on these holdings, but the identities of the customers will still be protected.

The agreement comes as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) seeks to locate money hidden in offshore bank accounts and could result in the organisation being handed billions of pounds a year by Swiss authorities.

Dave Hartnett, permanent secretary for tax at HMRC - which was formed in 2005 following the merger of the Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise Departments - said: "A few years ago, nobody would have anticipated that we would conclude an agreement with Switzerland to tackle tax evasion."

The industry figure noted "the world is changing" for those looking to swerve their tax obligations by moving cash overseas.

A similar deal was recently struck between Germany and Swiss officials.

By Asim Shah

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