Switzerland names and shames tax fraudsters
Be they German, Russian or American, Switzerland is now publishing the names of tax fraudsters, and some prominent names are among them. The end of nearly a century of Swiss banking privacy is near.
The Swiss Tax Administration made the decision to publish the names of American, French, German, Russian and Indian citizens under investigation after being “overwhelmed” with several formal requests from foreign tax authorities for the assistance of Swiss tax inspectors. The names, birth dates, nationalities and addresses of these alleged tax evaders were published in the Swiss Federal Gazette according to a news article in the Swiss “SonntagsZeitung” and are available on the Internet. All US citizens were listed with initials only. Also listed were the names of numerous companies, with the country of the head office being published.
“This is a last resort process, when we were unable to contact someone,” said a spokesperson of the Federal Administration of Contributions (AFC) to the Agence France-Presse.
Earlier this year, several UK media announced HSBC’s Swiss bank involvement in tax dodging. This speaks volumes to the change in Switzerland since 1934 when the Federal Act on Banks and Savings Banks was introduced making it a criminal offence to disclose the identity of clients. Switzerland appears to be fostering transparency and could perhaps be trying to repair their reputation.
If you have any issues regarding US taxes in Switzerland, contact us.