Although the UK Switzerland Tax Agreement (STA) introduced in 2013 was instrumental in allowing UK persons with Swiss assets to regularise their historical UK tax affairs the introduction of the Automatic Exchange of Information (Common Reporting Standard, CRS) will be a significant development. Unprecedented levels of information will be supplied to HMRC in respect of UK residents who hold assets overseas including UK resident non-UK domiciled persons (RNDs).
Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) have been in force since 1 July 2014 between the UK and its Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories. This will be substantially extended by the introduction of CRS. 58 countries have committed to exchanging information from 2017 and a further 35 countries from 2018, including Switzerland.
Any person in one of the following categories should ensure their UK tax affairs are compliant prior to exchange of information.
- RNDs who opted out of the STA
- Discretionary structures (with UK settlors or beneficiaries) that were not within the scope of the STA
- One off charge was applied to the account balance at 2010 or 2012 but UK tax clearance was not achieved
- Capital flight from Switzerland pre the STA
- Anyone who was not identified as UK resident during the STA relevant person identification process