Switzerland signs tax deal with UK

September 8, 2009

UBS/TAX   ZURICH, Sept 7 (Reuters) – Switzerland and the UK have signed a new treaty giving British tax authorities more access to banking information and taking the Swiss one step closer to being taken off an international list of tax havens.
   The deal contains a provision for exchange of information in accordance with Organisation for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD) standards, the Swiss government said on Monday.
   It comes shortly after Switzerland signed a tax deal with France, in which it agreed to share banking information upon request from France’s tax authorities as of January 1, 2010. [ID:nLR262191]
   The Swiss must sign 12 new tax treaties by the end of the year to be removed from an OECD “grey list” of tax havens.
   Switzerland agreed in March to relax its strict banking secrecy rules and embrace tax cooperation rules set by the OECD as the G20 countries launched an offensive on tax evasion.
   The Swiss deal with Britain follows the signing of a deal between Liechtenstein and Britain just under a month ago, which is aimed at encouraging British clients with secret bank accounts to voluntarily disclose billions of pounds of untaxed money. [ID:nLB642083]
   Switzerland has yet to reach an agreement with Germany, which faces a general election later this month and has been one of the most vocal critics of Swiss banking secrecy, but negotiations are set to begin in the coming days.
   Last month, Switzerland agreed to reveal the names of about 4,450 wealthy American clients of UBS to U.S. authorities in a tax dispute settlement that pierced its vaunted bank secrecy. (Reporting by Katie Reid; Editing by Ron Askew) ((katie.reid@reuters.com; +41 58 306 7320; Reuters Messaging:katie.reid.reuters.com@reuters.net))
Monday, 07 September 2009 16:44:47RTRS [nL7460038 ] {C}ENDS

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