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France has a “choice” on tax says Calmy-Rey

Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has denied that double taxation agreements provide a means for taxpayers to circumnavigate the law.

Calmy-Rey was commenting in Paris following a meeting with French Prime Minister François Fillion on Thursday evening during which the two leaders discussed the issue of a double taxation agreement between the two countries.

France’s Budget Minister Valérie Pécresse declared earlier in the day that France would not enter into a double taxation agreement with Switzerland because such an agreement would be against French “principles”. She said such accords would mean that several French taxes could not be applied to assets held in Swiss accounts.

The agreements negotiated by Switzerland to date with Germany and Britain allow foreign taxpayers with secret accounts in Switzerland to remain anonymous, while a withholding tax on the accounts is returned to tax authorities in the country of origin.

Calmy-Rey said the one-hour meeting with the Prime Minister Fillion had been “constructive”.

“France has a choice to make,” Calmy-Rey said. “I explained a little bit about how it works. I said that Switzerland has a policy of taxation and that it is not a question of using it as a means of circumvention for taxpayers who want to escape the taxman in their country of origin.

“We have now put in place double taxation agreements with a series of countries which are in line with OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) norms.”

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR