Germany, Switzerland reach tax information agreement

10:35, March 27, 2010      

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Germany and Switzerland have reached a preliminary agreement on exchanging information on suspected tax dodgers, the German finance minister said Friday.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that the two countries had initiated an accord but would not disclose its details before the governments of the two countries approve it.

The minister said that the approval was expected in a few months.

Germany has been one of the harshest critics of Switzerland's strict banking secrecy laws, especially after German tax authorities had purchased early this year a CD disk containing stolen data on German account holders in Switzerland.

Over 1,100 rich Germans with accounts at Swiss bank Credit Suisse may now find themselves under investigation in the wake of the CD purchase.

The Swiss bank would neither confirm nor comment on the information on whether it has had any official contact with German tax authorities concerning the CD. The disk was reportedly sold to the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state.

The federal government of Chancellor Angela Merkel gave the green light for the state, home to Germany's historic industrial heartland, to buy the CD.

Source: Xinhua
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