BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
    You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 21 January, 2003, 10:52 GMT
EU tackles tax evasion
European Parliament building
EU ministers are keen to see a uniform tax

EU finance ministers meeting in Brussels are hoping to break years of deadlock over plans for a Europe-wide clampdown on tax evasion.

Under a proposed deal, 12 EU member states would exchange information about bank accounts held abroad by each others' citizens.

mountain in Switzerland
Switzerland has been reluctant to alter banking secrecy laws
Switzerland and other financial centres that operate strict banking secrecy laws, could opt instead to impose a special tax on bank accounts held by EU residents.

Until now it has proved extremely difficult for tax authorities in one EU country to discover undeclared income from savings held by one of their citizens in another.

The agreement will also cover dependent territories, such as the Channel Islands.

The breakthrough in the negotiations follows a deal with non-EU member Switzerland, which has the world's biggest offshore banking industry.

Luxembourg stalls

After intense pressure, Switzerland has offered to tax all Swiss bank accounts held by EU savers.

The revenue raised would be passed on to EU governments.

Although that falls far short of the lifting of banking secrecy the union had demanded, ministers now accept it is the best deal on offer.

A final agreement depends on Luxembourg, Austria and Belgium, which also have strict banking secrecy laws.

They must agree to do the same as Switzerland but Luxembourg objects to the proposed level of the tax.

Under existing plans, the rate would rise progressively to 35%. Britain says anything less would be hard to accept.

See also:

20 Jun 00 | Business
03 Dec 02 | Business
08 Oct 02 | Business
05 Dec 01 | Business
05 Jun 01 | Business
29 Nov 00 | Business
20 Jun 00 | Business
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes