A former chief operating officer of Swiss bank Julius Baer’s Cayman Islands branch is handing over details of 2,000 offshore bank accounts to WikiLeaks today. He claims this will expose “massive potential tax evasion” by “well-known pillars of society”, including “approximately 40 politicians”. His accusastions include British taxpayers: according to a report in yesterday’s Observer.
Rudolf Elmer says the list includes “business people, politicians, people who have made their living in the arts and multinational conglomerates – from both sides of the Atlantic”: said to be “using secrecy as a screen to hide behind in order to avoid paying tax”. He is due to return to Switzerland shortly, to go on trial accused of stealing the information, breaking Swiss bank secrecy laws, forging documents and sending threatening messages to two officials at Julius Baer. The Swiss bank has denied all wrongdoing. It says that Elmer “altered” documents in order to “create a distorted fact pattern”.
This is the latest in a series of tax haven bank data thefts. In previous cases in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, the information was obtained by the taxman. It’s believed that about 600 UK taxpayers who bank at HSBC Switzerland are now being investigated by HMRC’s elite Specialist Investigations branch under the Code of Practice 9 procedures.
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Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts have substantial experience of the key issues. We are helping many clients and their agents with the current tax amnesty: the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facilty: which can apply to even non-Liechtensteinn offshore bank accounts.
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