UK/SWISS TAX DEAL IN TROUBLE?
28 Nov, 2011
The UK has been told to renegotiate its tax agreement with Switzerland to be compatible with EU rules, or risk being sued by Brussels.
The deal, which sought to clamp down on tax evasion and was expected to secure £5bn of unpaid tax for the UK exchequer by 2015, was signed earlier this year, but is claimed by European Commission lawyers to be in breach of strict EU rules on tax evasion, particularly in relation to secrecy principles.
The EU’s tax commissioner, Algirdas Šemeta, told the Financial Times: “If we are unable to sort out these problems then it is clear that as the guardians of the treaty we will have to proceed with the instruments that are in our hands.”
He continued: “We are in close contact with the UK. Today I can’t tell you what steps they will take on this issue. We will see, I think, in coming days. It is in the common interest of everybody to arrive to a very clear situation as soon as possible. We are in a process, the results of which will be known very soon.”
Picture: UK Chancellor, George Osborne.