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A Sea Change in Switzerland
May 30th, 2012
Yesterday Switzerland’s parliament approved a much-anticipated tax information exchange agreement with Germany. The country has made similar agreements with Britain and Austria and is already in talks with Italy to make a similar deal. Under the agreement, Swiss banks will make anonymous advance payments to German tax authorities for undeclared money. Germany stands to make big gains: lawmakers already plan to levy a retroactive tax of 21 to 41 percent on their citizens with undeclared accounts. With holdings of an estimated 222 billion euros ($291.8 billion) in Swiss accounts, about 60 percent of which are undeclared, German citizens can expect...
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Frustrated by an Endless Maze of Shell Companies, Uncooperative Officials, Germany Drops Probe into Russian Corruption
April 11th, 2012
Following traces of money flowing through the criminal underworld has long been an important strategy for law enforcement. German investigators were trying to do just that, following US$150 million in corrupt money back from Germany to a number of Russian officials. However, the investigators were forced to give up their search after the trail brought them to an anonymous corporation, and uncooperative Russian officials.
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Automatic Information Exchange or Banker’s Pet Scheme: Europe Remains Undecided
September 14th, 2011
In Germany, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) has come out against the deal. Meanwhile, the European Commission has also said it will have to assess the legality of the deals but has not taken a firm position. The final withholding tax concept, known as ‘Rubik,’ was initially formulated by the Association of Foreign Banks in Switzerland (AFBS) and by Swiss banks to protect banking secrecy against the international moves towards automatic tax information exchange, which followed the global financial crisis.
SPD Plans to Block Rubik Ratification in Germany
The SPD’s financial concept note published last Monday rejects the agreement with Switzerland. It is...
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