Potential U.K., Swiss Deal ‘Sets Back’ Fight Against Tax Evasion, Say Tax Groups

By Brian Monroe

An expected agreement between the United Kingdom and Switzerland to tax half of the income of Britons keeping undeclared assets in Swiss bank accounts is a significant step backward in the fight against bank secrecy, say tax reform advocates. Under the plan, disclosed Monday by the Financial Times, U.K. accountholders would pay Swiss authorities an undetermined one-time fee in addition to a 50 percent withholding tax on their annual account income, roughly the same as wealthy Britons would pay in Britain. Switzerland would turn over the money to U.K. officials without disclosing the identity of the accountholders, the media agency...