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EuroParl decides on stricter measures for Swiss accounts

The European Parliament has adopted measures to make it harder for EU citizens to hide cash from tax authorities in Swiss bank accounts in a vote on Tuesday, an announcement said.
 
“Under the deal, the EU and Switzerland will automatically exchange information on the bank accounts of each other’s residents, starting in 2018,” the announcement said.
 
"We will not tolerate that persons or companies hide assets for the purpose of avoiding paying taxes. Whenever people commit tax fraud, they take away money that could be spent on schools and healthcare. Ending bank secrecy is a very important step in this fight against tax fraud and for tax justice," said rapporteur Jeppe Kofod (S&D, DK). The resolution was passed by 593 votes to 37, with 58 abstentions.
 
Prior to this voting, the EU and Switzerland had signed an agreement in May 2015 to clamp down on tax fraud and evasion. “Information to be exchanged includes not only income, such as interest and dividends, but also account balances and proceeds from the sale of financial assets,” the announcement said.
 
The parliament announcement added that the agreement ensures that Switzerland will apply stricter measures, equivalent to those in place within the EU since March 2014. 
 
There are provisions intended to limit the opportunities for taxpayers to avoid being reported to the tax authorities by shifting assets or investing in products that are outside the scope of the agreement, the announcement from the EU said.
 
Tax administrations in the member states and in Switzerland will be able to:
 
- identify correctly and unequivocally the taxpayers concerned
- administer and enforce their tax laws in cross-border situations
- assess the likelihood of tax evasion being perpetrated
- avoid unnecessary further investigations
 
Source: EU Parliament
 
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