Published On: Tue, Nov 13th, 2012

Swiss authorities catch French investigators searching for tax evaders at border

French government authorities have been identified in Switzerland investigating French citizens suspected of dodging strict French tax laws.

photo Elwood J Blues

According to a report by the Le Matin Dimanche and SonntagsZeitung newspapers on Sunday, French tax investigators regularly travel to Switzerland pretending they are on holiday to carry out secret investigations into French citizens suspected of hiding funds.
Federal prosecutor Michael Lauber told the papers he was aware of these illegal missions, which he described as “violations of national sovereignty”.
But the Swiss official admitted it was very difficult to find sufficient evidence to open a case against the tax agents.

“We are not authorized to travel to Switzerland without an official mission order,” one officer explained anonymously to a journalist. “However, nothing prevents us from spending a weekend in Geneva admiring the Jet d’eau fountain on Lake Geneva.”
He added that in recent years the Swiss authorities had been very slow to reply to official French requests to conduct investigations on Swiss soil.
“In such circumstances there is a temptation to go and obtain the information on our own,” the officer said.

The French tax officials reportedly travel to Switzerland with a friend or family member when they are supposed to be officially on holiday.

They use private credit cards for all purchases in Switzerland and to avoid being caught by Swiss customs or radars, the officials purportedly use cars with interchangeable number plates or take a train.
Once in Switzerland they travel around to make sure Swiss-based companies allegedly belonging to French citizens actually have real offices, employees and clients.

Tension has been on the rise between the two nations as the French are working to target untaxed assets in Swiss bank accounts as part of their escalating tax reform platform.

Switzerland has signed so-called Rubik accords with Britain, Germany and Austria, which regulate the previously non-declared, untaxed funds deposited by foreign nationals in Switzerland while preserving client anonymity.

France continues to reject the idea of a bilateral accord with the Swiss concerning tax evasion, preferring an automatic data exchange as also demanded by the European Union.

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON


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