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Switzerland and Greece talk tax


High-ranking Swiss and Greek officials held talks on Thursday in the Swiss capital, Bern, over a possible tax agreement between their countries.

Swiss State Secretary Michael Ambühl and Ilias Plaskovitis, from the Greek Finance Ministry, discussed whether a tax accord similar to those already agreed with Germany and Britain could be reached.

According to a statement from the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters, the aim is to regularise long-standing assets held by Greek taxpayers in Swiss bank accounts – usually achieved with a one-off backdated payment.

Future income would be taxed at source on an anonymous basis, the statement added. The deal would also seek to improve mutual market access for financial services.

Some estimates have put the total amount of Greek assets in Switzerland at SFr24.2 billion (€19.7 billion), with all but SFr200 million being undeclared. However, other estimates have put the sum at nearly ten times this amount.
 
The announcement about the Swiss-Greek tax deal talks comes after European leaders clinched a deal aimed at stemming the debt crisis in the eurozone, which has been pushed to breaking point by Greece’s huge debts.

The Swiss and Greek governments expect to decide in the coming weeks about when formal negotiations will start, the statement said.

swissinfo.ch and agencies



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