Britain aligns with Switzerland in defence of secret wealth
1) Granted Switzerland the right to set the effective higher rate of tax on investment income in the UK;It is a thorough indictment of the current UK government, which has effectively surrendered on this point.
2) Granted Swiss banks an everlasting competitive advantage over UK banks – because it will pay all higher rate tax payers to bank in Switzerland henceforth;
3) Denied the UK tax authority the right to make enquiries of their own choosing about the tax affairs of a British person – the Swiss now being granted the right to decide how many enquiries may be made and whether they are appropriate or not.
4) Granted criminal immunity to Swiss bakers who sell tax evasion – so allowing them to commit ongoing crime in the UK.
In the process the UK is:
a) Promoting tax evasion by its citizens
b) Promoting Geneva and Zurich over London
c) Abandoning its right to tax
d) Abandoning its rights to enforce its laws
e) Alienating the OECD
f) Abandoning the fights against tax havens.
Update: Tax Journal reports on this, quoting our blog it seems, and adding this nice touch:
"Andreas Kolb, a Partner in the Switzerland office at Eversheds, observed: ‘It is somewhat surprising that the United Kingdom is the first country with which Switzerland has signed a basic agreement on dealing with untaxed money, especially given that the UK’s Channel Islands are known the world over for the legal possibilities they offer in terms of concealing money via trusts. These constructions are often much more confidential than the famed Swiss bank secrecy.’"The Crown Dependencies will not want to admit it, but Kolb is right, too.