Authorities probe Credit Suisse on ‘client tax’

Credit Suisse said its offices in London, Paris and Amsterdam were contacted by local authorities on March 30 “concerning client tax matters.”

The company said: “We are cooperating with the authorities.”

In its statement, Credit Suisse said that since 2013 “Credit Suisse applies the Withholding Tax Agreement between Switzerland and the UK.”

It said: “We have also implemented the Dutch and French voluntary tax disclosure programs and exited non-compliant clients …

“In addition, Credit Suisse has implemented the Automated Exchange of Information for its European locations (starting in April 2017).

“The same will apply for European individual clients served from Switzerland from 2018.”

The company added: “Credit Suisse continues to follow a strategy of full client tax compliance.”

Without naming any company, the UK’s HM Revenue and Customs said that on March 30 it “alongside our international partners, launched an investigation for suspected tax evasion and money laundering by a global financial institution.”

HM Revenue and Customs added: “Yesterday, in partnership with authorities in the Netherlands, Australia, Germany and France, HMRC launched a criminal investigation into suspected tax evasion and money laundering by a global financial institution …

“The first phase of the investigation, which will see further, targeted, activity over the coming weeks, is focused on senior employees from within the institution, along with a number of its customers.

“The international reach of this investigation sends a clear message that there is no hiding place for those seeking to evade tax.

“Promoters and facilitators of tax evasion schemes, and their customers, need to wake up to reality and accept that attempting to hide wealth overseas, or within institutions, doesn’t work and doesn’t place them out of our reach.”

more to follow …