Sunday, September 23, 2012

Press Releases: Italy, Belgium, Greece must not sign "Rubik" tax deals with Switzerland. They are a swindle

Monday, Sept 24, 2012

Greece, Belgium and Italy are each currently talking to Switzerland about a tax deal under a model known as “Rubik”, which is supposed to raise big revenues from the Swiss bank accounts of wealthy Italian tax evaders, while keeping their accounts secret.

This would be a disaster for these countries, and for wider transparency. This is not just for ethical reasons but because the Rubik model, designed by the Swiss Bankers’ Association, is filled with as many holes as a Swiss cheese. The promised billions in revenues will never materialise. In fact, all things considered, such deals would most likely be revenue-negative for Europe and for the countries that sign them.

These deals are the centrepieces of a plot by Swiss bankers to sabotage progress on a major global initiative on financial transparency, the EU Savings Tax Directive which is in the process of being strengthened.  As we noted earlier, the SBA said the initiative was designed as an "independent counter-concept" to prevent the global emergence of the gold standard of transparency, automatic information exchange:

Our accompanying press releases explain the extreme upper limits of possible revenues for these countries from such a deal: for Greece, for example, these would constitute a one-off tax payment of just €650 million -- but the true figure would be far less than that. Even these small sums would soon be offset by bigger losses elsewhere because of Rubik.  Each press release is accompanied by a background note, outlining relevant background and our detailed calculations.

These countries must reject a Swiss tax deal.

The individual press releases and background notes are below.

Italy - Press Release
Italy - Background Note
Greece - Press Release
Greece - Background Note
Belgium - Press Release
Belgium - Background Note

Endnote: a cartoon (courtesy of The Best of Both Worlds) commenting on the differences between the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the approach of individual European countries. 






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