Undercover journalists expose gaping holes in German-Swiss tax deal
"The ZDF program Frontal 21 last night aired a masterpiece of undercover journalism (text here with web translation; video here, in German). The team of 21 frontal acted as German investors who wanted to invest $4 million in Switzerland in different ways. All of these routes had one thing in common: the untaxed funds could be invested in ways that bypassed the German-Swiss tax deal."This follows an analysis by a Swiss-German tax expert, Thomas Koblenzer, in an article on Switzerland's Finnews, describing the deal as having 'as many holes as a Swiss cheese.'
The TJN-D blog, summarising the TV programme, notes further that
"The film clip is also highlighted a fundamental problem: Swiss bankers and trustees are asked to decide whether an account economically for a German owner is out or not. That was about the same as you instruct the mafia trying to take over investigations into criminal matters for the police."It's refreshing to see these analyses coming out now, but it's a shame that it's taken after such a long time, and after so much damage has been done. The behaviour of those in the tax and accountancy professions in the UK, Germany and Switzerland who have known all about the loopholes from the beginning (not least because we told them, and challenged them to prove us wrong) but instead of speaking out have kept quiet and licked their lips at the prospect of all those lucrative opportunities for helping criminal tax-evading clients get around the deals, is repellent.
We can only say: we told you so. Let's hope a few more people start to listen now. And to call those politicians to account.