Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Spain arranges for taxes on 'opaque' money in Switzerland

SPAIN For many years, international organizations and many countries have put pressure on Switzerland to end banking secrecy. Without much success except if the funds come from an illicit source. There is an ongoing debate in Europe on the need to issue a directive aimed at making transactions more transparent in places that attract large funds, especially because of their 'opacity'. The Swiss are not enthusiastic with the idea, but in the meantime -particularly in the present economic climate- governments are taking measures to put a stop to capital flight or art least to recover some of the taxes evaded in the flight. The UK and Germany have already come to agreements with Switzerland whereby their citizens with accounts there pay taxes without the need to reveal their identities. The next Spanish PP government would be pleased with such an arrangement, which, although not ideal, is nevertheless the most pragmatic. Taxation would thus be left to the Swiss and is a matter of trust. Still, it's better than nothing, especially when some sources say that there is something like €45,000 million in Spanish names in Swiss accounts, about half of which has not been declared.

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