Dream on Switzerland

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Finance Minister Hans-Rudolf Merz says new tax regime will not lead to a lot of money to flow to Germany. - swissinfo.

[The Swiss finance minister] speaking in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, said his German colleague, Peer Steinbr?ºck, was "dreaming" if he expected "hundreds of millions of francs" in tax money to come pouring in.

Merz was responding to Steinbr?ºck's comments earlier this year that German taxpayers have deposited €200-300 billion (SFr130–196 billion) in Swiss bank accounts, and that Berlin loses €1 billion annually through tax evasion.

The Swiss finance minister said last year, for example, SFr137 million in taxes was sent to Germany, a figure Steinbr?ºck called a "joke".

"According to the latest figures, there is approximately SFr5.4 trillion in total assets invested in Switzerland," Merz told the German newspaper. "Half of this is from institutional investors who have no grounds to evade taxes or commit fraud."

As ever the Swiss tell less of the story than actually exists.

Half that institutional money is structured through companies, foundations and other arrangemnts precisely to remain out of view under the European Union Savings Tax Directive.

Sure, a DTA won't uncover this. A smoking gun is still needed under a DTA. But then the European Union Savings Tax Directive is extended to privately controlled institutions, then watch the money come home.