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A ‘historic’ tax deal has been struck between the UK and Swiss authorities, to tax money which hasn’t been declared and is in a Swiss bank account. UK tax evaders will soon discover that hiding money in a Swiss bank account will no longer avoid paying the tax which is due.

Although some were concerned that the deal offered a reprieve to tax evaders, the Chartered Institute of Taxation said that anyone breaking the law would still face prosecution. Gary Ashford from the CIOT said:

“This is a significant agreement which opens a new chapter in tackling international tax evasion. Rightly, the net is tightening on those who think they can keep money in offshore bank accounts out of sight of the tax man.”

From 2013, tax will be deducted from the bank accounts of UK individuals by the Swiss authorities, who will then send the money to the UK treasury. The main account will be taxed at a rate of between 19 and 34 percent, which will be dependent on the length of time the account has been held. A yearly charge will be applied to accounts, which will vary according to whether the income is from dividends, interest or capital gains.

The deal is expected to earn around £5 billion for the UK treasury, with the UK also being able to seek the banking information of 500 UK taxpayers so that they can carry out further investigations. The deal has been welcomed by tax experts, who say it is time to clamp down on tax evaders in the UK.

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