More Suspicions Cast over Bulgarians' Swiss Banks Plan

Finance | March 9, 2010, Tuesday // 10:52|  views

A file photo shows the exterior view of the building of the HSBC Bank at the quai Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Bulgaria's tax authorities will find it difficult to bring to justice those tax evaders, who hold about EUR 200 M in Swiss banks as revealed by a stolen disk of Swiss banking data bought by Germany, a financial expert claims.

“The operation will hardly lead to more money flowing into the state budget. A big part of the deposits of Bulgarian citizens in Swiss banks have been registered as bank accounts of foreigners,” Emil Harsev commented.

Earlier in the week the Bulgaria's revenue agency chief said a stolen disk of Swiss banking data bought by Germany has revealed that Bulgarian tax evaders held about EUR 200 M in banks in Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

Krasimir Stefanov arrived in the German capital Friday to consult the stolen disc containing the names of 1,500 Swiss account holders who may have defrauded their country's tax authorities.

Germany agreed to share the data with Bulgaria following the visit of the country's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov there.

Legal experts have commented that the amount of money held by Bulgarian tax evaders in banks in Liechtenstein and Switzerland is huge is comparison with those 1500 Germans, hiding taxes for about EUR 100 M in Switzerland.

Germany is said to have shelled out EUR 2.5 M for the disc, but it is still not clear whether Bulgaria will have to pay for the information too.

About a dozen alleged tax fraudsters had already asked if they could voluntarily turn themselves in, according to local media reports.

The government is yet to decide whether it would allow these people to pay their taxes and avoid other sanctions. Otherwise they face up to eight years in jail.

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Tags: Switzerland, Germany, taxation, swiss banks, accounts, NAP, Krasimir Stefanov, National Revenue Agency, NRA


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