Business Irish

Wednesday 13 November 2019

Irish with Swiss bank accounts will lose their secrecy - MEP

Marian Harkin
Marian Harkin

Colm Kelpie

Irish citizens holding bank accounts in Switzerland will no longer be able to avail of the traditional secrecy pertaining to Swiss bank accounts, MEP Marian Harkin has said.

The European Commission and Switzerland this week signed an agreement that is intended to clamp down on tax evasion. Both sides will automatically exchange information on the financial accounts of each other's residents from 2018.

The Commission said this spells an end to Swiss bank secrecy for EU residents and will prevent tax evaders from hiding undeclared income in Swiss accounts. Ms Harkin welcomed the agreement: "Each year from financial year 2017, the personal data of EU citizens, who hold bank accounts in Switzerland, including the amounts of their deposits, will be revealed and will assist in preventing any tax evasion."

Meanwhile, Oxfam Ireland chief executive Jim Clarken said the Luxleaks and the Swiss leaks had brought home to millions of people the scale of corporate tax avoidance in the EU. But Oxfam has also launched a campaign called 'even it up', to push world leaders to end what it describes as extreme inequality. "We are not simply targeting global corporations and wealthy individuals who dodge tax. We want world leaders to fix the toxic system," he said.

Irish Independent

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