Formula 1 head and billionaire Bernie Ecclestone denies using Switzerland as a tax haven. In an interview with the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper, he says he did not come here to optimise his tax burden.
The 84-year-old, who lives in Gstaad in canton Bern, pays tax on a lump sum basis. This taxation deal, available to foreign nationals resident in Switzerland, is based on the taxpayer’s annual living expenses rather than on their income and assets.
As Ecclestone told the newspaper, he also has a home in London and pays taxes in Britain. His fortune is estimated at between CHF2.5-3 billion ($2.6-3.1 billion); he declined to reveal his tax bill to the Tages-Anzeiger, saying simply, “I can tell you that I pay a lot of taxes in both countries”.
Switzerland and Britain have a double taxation accord stipulating that people with homes in both countries need only pay taxes in one of them. Asked why he pays in two countries, Ecclestone said he was aware that he could take advantage of that agreement.
“I voluntarily and happily pay taxes in Switzerland because I know that in Switzerland, the tax money isn’t wasted,” Ecclestone said, referring to Switzerland as his second home.
He also cited his donations to projects like the Glacier 3000 mountain cable way project as well as the renovation of Hotel Olden in Gstaad.