HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced it has recovered £342 million in tax arrears from UK taxpayers with Swiss bank accounts.
The recovery is the first instalment of a levy on the accounts of UK taxpayers in Switzerland, following an agreement between the two countries signed in October 2011. Under the agreement, current and future tax liabilities are covered by a withholding tax of 48%.
David Gauke (pictured), exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said he expected the agreement to deliver around £5 billion of previously unpaid tax to the UK.
‘Offshore evasion costs the UK billions of pounds every year and we are determined to tackle it. One of the ways is through information exchange and this agreement makes it easier for HMRC to obtain information about UK taxpayers suspected of hiding money in Switzerland.’