The fine for people found to have secret bank accounts abroad is to be tripled to 300% of the non-declared savings, tax minister Jan Kees de Jager told tv show Buitenhof on Sunday.
At the moment, people found with secret savings face having all of the money confiscated by the tax authorities. If MPs back de Jager’s proposals, they will also have to pay the same amount twice over in fines.
Since 2002, the government has operated an amnesty for people with secret accounts. If they admit to having money stashed abroad they have to pay an extra tax surcharge but no fine and will not face criminal prosecution.
So far this year 317 people have come forward, admitting to secret savings totalling some €70m.
The Telegraaf reports on Monday that a considerable percentage of the people declaring their foreign savings are soft drugs traders who made their money in the 1990s.
‘If they declare their money to the tax before an investigation is begun, they do not have to say where their capital came from,’ one lawyer told the paper.
Since it emerged that Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg and Andorra are reforming their bank secrecy laws, the number of people declaring their foreign accounts has gone up by 20 a day, the paper says.
Tax havens are coming under increasing pressure on their banking secrecy laws and world leaders agreed at last week’s G20 summit in London to take tougher action against them.
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