Time is running out for Britons with money hidden in Swiss bank accounts.
The UK and Swiss governments have agreed a deal to tax the bank accounts of UK citizens and transfer the money directly to the Treasury without revealing the identity of account holders. The agreement, which is due to start in January, is part of efforts by HMRC to crack down on offshore tax evasion and boost tax receipts. According to a blog post from PKF’s Philip Fisher this week, the agreement only narrowly missed being put to a national referendum because local results from two Swiss cantons were sent by second class post.
With the agreement safely in place, HMRC published a factsheet of answers to commonly asked questions about the tax agreement.
Britons with money overseas who owe tax have options including:
- Move funds out of Switzerland by 31 May 2013
- Use the Liechenstein Disclosure Facility, which will run until April 2016
- Make a voluntary disclosure to HMRC
- Pay a flat rate tax for the past and withholding taxes going forward
- Opt out and claim the remittance basis charge.