Further millions paid to Britain and Austria
Switzerland has transferred a further CHF525 million ($563 million) to Britain and Austria as part of a withholding tax agreement to settle untaxed assets held in Swiss banks.
The Federal Tax Administration said on Monday Britain had received £146.7 million (CHF213 million) and Austria €254.7 million (CHF313 million).
This follows a first payment in July, when Switzerland transferred CHF372 million to Britain and CHF515 million to Austria. Further monthly payments will be made until June 2014.
The financial crisis has put Switzerland under mounting pressure to lift its trademark banking secrecy. In order to defend this principle, it has agreed to withholding tax deals with certain countries.
Under the deals with Britain and Austria, Switzerland gave people who failed to declare money placed in Swiss banks to their home countries 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.
According to the Federal Tax Administration, 17,000 declarations have been made in Britain, totalling £6.2 billion. The 15,700 declarations from Austria total €4.8 billion.
A similar agreement with Germany collapsed after resistance from the German parliament.
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