Switzerland, Italy near bilateral tax accord

Swiss official says agreement by December 21

Switzerland, Italy near bilateral tax accord

Bern, November 19 - A Swiss diplomat familiar with negotiations said on Monday that Italy and Switzerland were close to reaching a cross-border deal that may help discourage Italian tax evaders holding money in Swiss bank accounts. The agreement would mean funds in Swiss bank accounts would pay capital gains tax at a rate similar to that of the funds' country of origin, but the clients who have those accounts would keep their anonymity. "We are confident in finding an agreement by the end of autumn, by December 21," said Oscar Knapp, an international finance representative for the Swiss government. The agreement with Italy is modeled on bilateral agreements reached between Switzerland and three other countries - Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom.

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