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Tax deal "could cost SFr500 million"

The Swiss-German tax treaty could cost Swiss banks around SFr500 million ($643 million) to implement, says the president of the Swiss Bankers Association.

This content was published on August 14, 2011 - 12:28
swissinfo.ch and agencies

Patrick Odier, speaking in the SonntagsZeitung newspaper on Sunday, added that a separate tax agreement with Britain was expected over the coming weeks.

Odier said that banks favoured further deals with Italy, France and the United States, while the association’s CEO, Claude-Alain Margelisch, told the Der Sonntag newspaper that the German accord, which was announced on August 10, was a “base model” for other treaties.

 

The tax accord with Germany over cross-border accounts of wealthy customers ends a long-running tax evasion dispute. The deal, which includes an up-front payment to Germany of SFr2 billion by Swiss banks, has been initialled and will be signed by both governments in the coming weeks.

The banks’ advance payment will only be reimbursed if and when the German authorities recoup enough back-taxes from Swiss accounts owed to them.

Meanwhile, the opposition centre-left Social Democrats party in Germany has criticised the tax deal, it has been reported.  A spokesman called it “a very special rule for a very special target group”.

The Swiss authorities have been in talks with counterparts in Germany and Britain over tax deals for months. There has been no announcement from the government to date on the British negotiations.

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