On 6 December HMRC published its answers to the most common questions being asked in relation to the Swiss – UK Tax Agreement of 6 October 2011.
This Q&A document has confirmed the following new points in relation to the agreement:
- It is not only UK residents who will be caught by the agreement, British passport holders with Swiss assets can also be caught
- Such individuals, can also be caught if they are beneficiaries of discretionary trusts which hold Swiss assets
- Individuals investigated by HMRC (prior to the agreement coming into force) who did not declare their Swiss assets cannot pay the Flat Rate Tax (FRT) to clear up the past
- Money taken out of the Swiss account between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2012 will not be covered by the agreement
- HMRC can ask the Swiss tax authorities to check with up to 340 Swiss banks whether a named person has assets with the bank (up to 500 information requests can be made per annum for first three years)
Individuals with undeclared assets should still consider using the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility (LDF) to regularise their tax affairs for the past, as it is generally a more cost effective option.
Gabelle can advise you on how to register for the LDF and how your client may qualify for its beneficial terms. Furthermore, if you require information on the specific terms of the Swiss UK Tax Agreement and how this compares to the LDF, please call TaxDesk on 0845 4900 509 and ask for John Hood.