Tax evaders to be enticed in from the cold

Repentant tax evaders will be able to return to legality more easily under a new law finally approved by parliament on Wednesday.

This content was published on March 5, 2008 - 11:28

The long-debated amnesty, which gives people and businesses a one-off opportunity to regularise their situation penalty-free, has been inching its way through the political process for years.

Those who come forward to the authorities admitting to tax evasion will not face any sanctions. They will only have to pay a maximum of ten years of back taxes and interest arrears.

Should a taxpayer come forward a second time, he or she will face a lesser penalty than previously. In this case the fine will be cut from 100 per cent to one fifth of the unpaid tax.

The amnesty also applies to inheritance cases. Beneficiaries of estates who declare a tax liability on the part of the deceased will now only have to pay three years of back taxes and interest, instead of ten years.

In Switzerland, tax evasion is generally punished with a fine and is therefore considered an infringement, rather than a criminal offence under Swiss law.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

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