France Targeting 3,000 Tax Evaders

September 2, 2009 International Tax CooperationOffshore BankingTaxation in FranceTaxation in Switzerland  No comments

French authorities are intensifying their search for tax evaders by brandishing a list of names, all suspected of using Swiss bank accounts for tax evasion purposes.

On the 30th of August it was announced by Eric Woerth, the French Budget Minister, that the French Government had obtained the names and account details of 3,000 French nationals who are suspected of using Swiss bank accounts to evade their French tax liability. Statements made regarding the list indicate that its information was attained by three banks who volunteered it up, along with the French government’s own investigations.

The list of names is surrounded in a shroud of secrecy, which has not yet been penetrated to reveal whose names are on the list, what banks gave up the information and whether it even originated from Switzerland. Statements by Eric Woerth have hinted at the suspected total in the listed bank accounts to be approximately €3 billion. There have been encouragements by the French government towards French nationals who hold offshore bank accounts to volunteer up their tax information to escape possible future prosecution.

To quell speculation it was announced that the information was not attained directly from the Swiss government, with which France has just signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement. It was also assured that the French government had not paid for the names of suspected tax evaders.

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