The UK - Swiss tax transparency agreement became effective in January 2013 and HMRC have now sent thousands of letters to those in the UK who are affected.
The agreement results in HMRC now having information from the Swiss authorities of income, assets and investments held by named UK residents in the Swiss banking system.
The Swiss agreement introduces a significant levy of between 19% and 34% of the capital held at 31 December 2010. This one-off levy is treated as full settlement of earlier years’ tax, interest and penalties and the levies withheld by the Swiss authorities will be handed over to the UK. Where that happens, anonymity of the account holder will be maintained.
After the one-off 2013 levy an annual withholding tax is also automatically taken from Swiss accounts at specified rates of 48% for interest, 40% for dividends and 27% for capital gains. Again, these payments are made to the UK on an anonymous basis.
The only way to avoid these high levies is for the account holder to authorise the Swiss authorities to disclose their accounts to HMRC or to come forward in the UK and disclose to HMRC here.
Where tax has not previously been declared we believe there are two options:
In further developments, HMRC has now started writing to UK based holders of Swiss accounts, asking them to sign one of three certificates. They are:
All three certificates need careful handling to make sure that the declaration ultimately made to HMRC is the right one for you.
How can we help?
We have been dealing with HMRC related troubles for over 50 years, having dealt with hundreds of cases both as former HMRC Investigators and assisting and supporting clients in our time in practice. Our clients tell us that they value our extensive knowledge and genuine “hands on” approach to any matter involving HMRC disputes and difficulties.
We operate nationally, or internationally, and are not tied to our desks. We believe in giving a no nonsense level of support with affordable fees and costs. Our pricing structure is affordable, and we will fixed budgets for our engagements avoiding the traditional open-ended, "on the clock" approach of larger firms and our competitors.
To discuss this with us on a non-judgmental, discrete and no cost basis call our helpline 0800 001 6686 or contact us here today.
Gary Brothers and Mike Leigh are regular contributors to a number of professional forums. The current blogs are here, and our archived blogs can be found by checking on the link below.