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Swiss Uk Tax Agreement

Swiss UK Tax Agreement

The UK and Swiss governments have now signed the long awaited Tax Treaty. The agreement enables HMRC to obtain details of investments and accounts held by UK residents from the Swiss authorities. HMRC originally estimated that over 80% of UK owned investments in Switzerland have not been declared for tax.

Every one with a Swiss bank account and a principal address in the UK is at risk. Accounts belonging to UK passport holders will be treated as a UK resident unless proved otherwise. Non-UK domiciliaries will need to prove that they have claimed the remittance basis of taxation for the year in question, and given notice of opt-out. Care needs to be taken before going down that route as penalties charges for unpaid tax can be as much as 200% with criminal prosecution.

All banking assets, including cash balances, precious metals, all forms of stocks, shares and securities, options and other structured products are included in the agreement. Safety deposit boxes, chattels and property are not included in the agreement

Taxes are deducted from Swiss accounts at specified rates

  • 48% on interest
  • 40% on dividends
  • 27% on capital gains

Payment is made without identification of the account holders to the UK Exchequer.

Should you make a disclosure to HMRC?

The account holder can authorise the Swiss authorities to make a disclosure to HMRC, In this case withholding tax is not deducted. The Swiss agreement has no specific disclosure facility so HMRC can enforce tax penalties at their normal rate and go back as far as 20 years.

We advise our clients to make use of the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility (LDF). This facility offers significantly reduced venalities, with liabilities being limited to those arising after April 1999 and, very importantly, you will not be prosecuted for criminal evasion of tax. Typically, disclosure under this agreement will reduce your liabilities by around 35%.

You can choose not to disclose your swiss tax affairs to the UK government. In this case withholding taxes will be applied and anonymity will be retained. However, the withholding tax will exceed the amount of tax demanded under the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility (LDF).

Swiss account holders may be tempted to move funds to another jurisdiction. the Swiss authorities are now obligated to pass details to HMRC of named taxpayers that are suspected of tax evasion activities.

OFFshore Accounts - How we can help

HMRC is now enforcing the collection the billions of pounds in unpaid taxes on undisclosed offshore accounts and assets with fives times the level of criminal prosecutions seen in previous years.

  • All contact with HMRC is through us
  • We manage HMRC technical challenges with ease
  • We can liaise with your solicitor and accountants
  • We will keep updated at every turn
  • We will fight your corner and make sure you pay only what is due
  • We will take away the stress and worry, allowing you to sleep at night

Voluntary disclosure of any previously unreported liabilities must be the way forward in order to avoid the threat of prosecution. In this regard, disclosure under the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility may well provide the best solution to wipe the slate clean.

Without exception, when the taxman comes knocking, he wants to recover tax and VAT. In serious cases, we have saved companies literally tens of thousands of pounds - a fraction of the fees that we charge.

Contact us TODAY for some friendly, helpful advice.

Get in Touch

Don't bury your head in the sand and hope nothing will happen. Contact Ken Robinson today for professional representation. We can work with your solicitor or accountant and will limit the damage any HMRC TAX & VAT investigation can do, taking away all the worry and stress, and giving you total peace of mind. Typically, we achieve reductions in tax and penalty liabilities of 75% which more than compensates for our fees.

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