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Today’s Top Headlines

Swiss, UK WHT Agreement To End

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

15 November 2016

The withholding tax agreement between Switzerland and the UK will end on January 1, 2017, when a new tax information exchange agreement between Switzerland and the EU enters into force.

The WHT agreement between Switzerland and the UK has been in force since January 2013. It gives UK taxpayers the option of either anonymously paying WHT on accounts held in Switzerland or making a voluntary disclosure.

On November 14, Switzerland and the UK signed a termination agreement that provides arrangements for transferring the final tax amounts and forwarding the last voluntary disclosures to the UK tax authorities.

The Swiss Federal Council said the WHT agreement "loses its reason to exist at all" with the introduction of the automatic exchange of information between Switzerland and the EU on January 1, 2017. Under the agreement with the EU, parties will receive, on an annual basis, the names, addresses, tax identification numbers, and dates of birth of their residents with accounts in contracting states, along with other financial and account balance information.

Switzerland recently signed a similar termination agreement with Austria to facilitate the transition between their bilateral WHT agreement and the Swiss-EU automatic exchange agreement.

TAGS: individuals | compliance | tax | tax compliance | banking | United Kingdom | tax authority | withholding tax | Austria | Switzerland | revenue statistics | European Union (EU) | Europe

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Voluntary disclosure is really a better alternative for the taxpayers.

Sam Faris on Wednesday, November 16, 2016