Dutch savers have €1.1bn in Luxemburg and Austria: tax office

Dutch nationals have €1.1bn in illicit savings in Luxemburg and Austria, the last two countries in the EU to have such tight bank secrecy laws, according to the Dutch tax office.

Luxemburg said on Wednesday it planned to scrap its secrecy laws at the beginning of 2015 and Austria is also making moves in that direction, RTL news reported.

Some €1bn in being held in Luxemburg accounts, tax office spokesman Herman Venneer told the broadcaster. This is costing the Dutch state €6.8m in lost income.

In 2010, the two countries accounted for €1.5bn of illicit Dutch savings, but that has gone down because of get-tough measures at home, the broadcaster says.

Fines

Between 2009 and 2011, people caught using complicated constructions involving foreign trusts and bank accounts were fined a total €430m for tax dodging. And an amnesty on illegal foreign savings resulted in 10,000 people declaring a total of €3.1bn.

The fine for people who come clean about illicit bank accounts currently amounts to 30% of the total. However, if the account is traced by tax officials, the fine can mount up to 300%.


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