Press release

Decision time for Swiss account holders

UK residents with Swiss bank accounts are to be warned that new landmark taxation arrangements are scheduled to come into force on 1 January next year.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Landmark Swiss taxation arrangement

The new tax agreement between the UK and Switzerland means that account holders must either provide full details to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) or pay over a proportion of the money in their account and a future withholding tax.

Exchequer Secretary David Gauke said:

The days of hiding money in Switzerland in order to evade tax are over. Burying your head in the sand is no longer an option. The only realistic strategy is to talk to HMRC, as quickly as possible.

Jennie Granger, HMRC Director General, Enforcement and Compliance, said:

Swiss banks or accountants are writing to people affected by the agreement. Some may be asking customers to close their accounts. If this happens, UK residents must ensure that any outstanding tax liabilities are paid. Anyone in these circumstances is strongly advised to contact HMRC as soon as possible.

Notes for editors

  1. The agreement was negotiated in 2011 and HMRC has recently published a guide here. As well as explaining the options available under the agreement, the factsheet provides details of the other ways in which people can ensure that their tax affairs are brought up to date. It includes contact details for those who want to make a direct disclosure to HMRC.

  2. The agreement includes a withholding tax to deal with the tax on income and gains. Rates currently range from 27 per cent on capital gains up to a maximum of 48 per cent for interest or other non-dividend income. Where the payment option is chosen, any past liability to specified taxes will be dealt with by paying a one-off charge of up to 41 per cent of the total value of the account.

Account holders should contact:

HM Revenue and Customs,
Offshore Coordination Unit
3rd Floor, City Centre House
B2 4AG

Email contact:

Published 14 November 2012