Saturday, October 3, 2009
Reports of Switzerland Conversion Experience are an Exaggeration
I have previously here invoked the famous quote of Samuel Clements' dba Mark Twain for claims that are more smoke than substance. I invoke it again to address the notion that Switzerland has seen the light and will join the civilized world -- at least that portion of it that the OECD here influences (which in the tax world is substantial) -- to give more transparency with respect to taxes of other countries. Joann M. Wiener has an interesting and excellent article here titled "Switzerland, No Longer a Tax Haven?" She addresses how Switzerland with a stroke of a pen can give the appearance but not the reality of legitimacy to its continuing, profit driven, need to enable tax evaders. Switzerland has demonstrated over and over that it will protect its premium franchise in the tax haven business, so that it can continue -- perhaps not at the same level -- to enable taxpayers in other countries evade taxes for a fee that includes a healthy share of the taxes evaded for its enablement services.