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Untaxed assets


Swiss finish returning funds to Austria and Britain



The Federal Tax Administration has concluded the monthly transfer of money to the British and Austrian governments as part of a 2013 withholding tax agreement designed to recoup taxes for assets the countries’ citizens had held secretly in Swiss banks.

Over a one-year period, almost £470 million (CHF715 million) were returned to Great Britain and almost €740 million (around CHF890 million) to Austria.

“With these payments, Switzerland has fulfilled its obligation under the tax treaties with the two countries,” said the Federal Tax Administration on Monday. “The ‘regularisation of the past’ is complete.”

In order to regularise their untaxed assets, Austrian and British citizens with money in Swiss banks had two options: they could either declare themselves to their country’s tax authorities, or have their accounts taxed by the Swiss, who would then transfer the funds without naming the clients.

The one-time withholding tax was paid to Great Britain at a rate of 21% to 41% and to Austria at a rate of 15% to 38%. Additional withholding tax will continue to be paid on future capital income.

Numerous citizens of Great Britain (21,377) and Austria (24,337) elected instead to allow access to information about their accounts. Brits declared wealth valued at CHF15.8 billion, and Austrians wealth of around CHF7.1 billion.

A similar withholding tax agreement was negotiated with Germany at the end of 2012, but was rejected by the German parliament following pressure from several political parties.  

swissinfo.ch and agencies



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