Switzerland publishes names of foreign tax evaders
BERN - Switzerland has published the names of foreign tax evaders on the Internet. The Swiss tax authorities gave the full name, date of birth and last known address of these tax evaders. There are also some Dutch tax evaders among them.
The Swiss tax authorities say they have tried to contact the tax evaders, but did not succeed. Now the service relies on the free exchange of information, and makes the information public incrementally.
The authorities acknowledge towards Swiss media that it is a bold move, but says that anyone can defend its own rights. Those who does not agree with the accusation, can appeal within 30 days.
In March, Swiss authorities and the EU reached an agreement to stand against tax frauds. The settlement is aiming at transparency, vital to ensure that each EU country can collect the tax revenues it is due, said Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs.
In February, Swiss prosecutors launched a money-laundering probe against British multinational HSBC bank’s office in Geneva. The investigation was based on a series of leaked documents, the so-called Swiss Leaks, which provided information until 2007 and told about more than 100,000 clients with accounts worth $100 billion.
Swiss banking secrecy originates from 1934, when a Federal Act on Banks and Savings Banks was introduced. Article 47 of the Act made it a criminal offence to disclose the identity of clients. The 1934 Swiss act is still in force with breach of professional confidentiality in banking is still punishable.