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Old 27.03.2019, 01:14
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Tax evasion

Hi guys,

I am not sure if this has been discussed here already, I had a quick look but couldn't find anything.

Basically, my partner received a letter from Natwest bank stating that they know that she lives in Switzerland since information is shared based on international agreements ... and she has to fill in a form, certify it by a lawyer and provide her passport as proof of identity ...

She was very confused and worried about this. I had to remind her that she only got about 100 left in her bank account to feel better :-)

I advised her to ignore the letter because I simply believe this is mainly for people who don't declare properties and/or money in their country of residence. Please correct me if I am wrong. Or share your experience.

Thanks
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Old 27.03.2019, 01:24
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Re: Tax evasion

What makes you think it's tax evasion?
I'm sure the letter must have explained what they wanted and why.
They probably want to switch it to a non-resident account for which they need proof of ID etc.
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Old 27.03.2019, 04:46
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Re: Tax evasion

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Basically, my partner received a letter from Natwest bank stating that they know that she lives in Switzerland since information is shared based on international agreements ...
Well this just nonsense. There are no international agreements that provide private companies such as British banks with random information about Swiss residents. There are very specific agreements for that sharing of data between the tax authorities and a requirement for banks to provide specific information to the tax authorities. The tax authorities do not disclose their information to the banks because it would be a breach of DPA and disadvantage them in any investigations they wish to carry out.

If you want help, then you need to describe that situation correctly.
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Old 27.03.2019, 08:05
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Re: Tax evasion

Smells of a scam. Hand over a certified copy of an identity document? I would definitely have alarm bells ringing.

Call the bank directly and get clarification.
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Old 27.03.2019, 08:35
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Re: Tax evasion

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Smells of a scam. Hand over a certified copy of an identity document? I would definitely have alarm bells ringing.

Call the bank directly and get clarification.
Very standard for money laundering & KYC. The customer has failed to notify the bank about a change of circumstance, the bank is required to keep it's info unto date.
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Old 27.03.2019, 08:40
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Re: Tax evasion

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Hi guys,

I am not sure if this has been discussed here already, I had a quick look but couldn't find anything.

Basically, my partner received a letter from Natwest bank stating that they know that she lives in Switzerland since information is shared based on international agreements ... and she has to fill in a form, certify it by a lawyer and provide her passport as proof of identity ...

She was very confused and worried about this. I had to remind her that she only got about 100 left in her bank account to feel better :-)

I advised her to ignore the letter because I simply believe this is mainly for people who don't declare properties and/or money in their country of residence. Please correct me if I am wrong. Or share your experience.

Thanks
You are advising someone to ignore an official letter from their bank that is quite rightly asking them to declare their assets to avoid any legal implications? Why would you think that is good advice... are you looking to cause her additional problems?
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Old 27.03.2019, 08:56
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Re: Tax evasion

Had to do this for my First Direct account a few years back. They accepted a stamp and signature from UBS (with whom I have accounts) as certification that I am who I say I am. All done without charge.
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Old 27.03.2019, 09:53
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Re: Tax evasion

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Very standard for money laundering & KYC. The customer has failed to notify the bank about a change of circumstance, the bank is required to keep it's info unto date.
Correct. Our clients receive such requests, too, but it would be foolhardy not to double check back with the bank if you are unsure. Scammers are pretty skilled in making documents and requests sound genuine.

A callback to the branch from the girlfriend would serve two purposes, 1) to check it's genuine and 2) to obtain the explanation they seem to need.
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Old 27.03.2019, 10:35
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Re: Tax evasion

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Correct. Our clients receive such requests, too, but it would be foolhardy not to double check back with the bank if you are unsure. Scammers are pretty skilled in making documents and requests sound genuine.

A callback to the branch from the girlfriend would serve two purposes, 1) to check it's genuine and 2) to obtain the explanation they seem to need.
The letter does not come from a branch, but from the tax compliance unit at Natwest, along with a form & the individual shortfall required for your specific account. Further copies of the form can be downloaded from their website, they provide the details in the letter.

Scammers would be pretty clever to know that someone only providing a UK address to their bank was indeed a tax resident of Switzerland. The only potential scammer is the account holder for failing to comply with the Bank's T&C's.
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You are advising someone to ignore an official letter from their bank that is quite rightly asking them to declare their assets to avoid any legal implications? Why would you think that is good advice... are you looking to cause her additional problems?

The letter is not asking them to declare assets, just update their information. The Bank will release a huge amount of account dada to HMRC or will forward it to CH. HMRC's computer called 'connect' is able to match people's declared income & expenditure, any spending higher than expected gets looked at.
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Old 27.03.2019, 16:16
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Re: Tax evasion

Very standard KYC requirement.
A pain to do as the certification process can be very restrictive.
We are having to bear more red-tape because the Philip Green and Tchenguiz brothers of this world evade taxes under our eyes.
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Old 27.03.2019, 17:44
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Re: Tax evasion

I had the same thing in the last few years from the Nat West, if you ignore the letter then they send you another one and then another one.

Rather than risk having my account frozen I filled in the 3rd letter and never heard anything more. I added the TIN that they ask for but didn't get anything officially certified.

They just want confirmation of where you are living, not such a big deal.

Edit: The Nat West has always had my up to date address and sends me statements every two months here in CH. They already have your address otherwise they couldn't send you the letter.
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Old 27.03.2019, 19:34
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Re: Tax evasion

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Well this just nonsense. There are no international agreements that provide private companies such as British banks with random information about Swiss residents. There are very specific agreements for that sharing of data between the tax authorities and a requirement for banks to provide specific information to the tax authorities. The tax authorities do not disclose their information to the banks because it would be a breach of DPA and disadvantage them in any investigations they wish to carry out.

If you want help, then you need to describe that situation correctly.
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I had the same thing in the last few years from the Nat West, if you ignore the letter then they send you another one and then another one.
These are two very different stories. Which is it? Do the Swiss banks tell British banks that you live in Switzerland, or not?
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Old 27.03.2019, 20:14
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Re: Tax evasion

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These are two very different stories. Which is it? Do the Swiss banks tell British banks that you live in Switzerland, or not?
They all will ask you at a time to verify your address
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Old 27.03.2019, 20:24
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Re: Tax evasion

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They all will ask you at a time to verify your address
Who is "all"?

I have never been asked by any bank in the world to verify my address, except on the day I open an account.

How would Natwest know you have an account in Switzerland? I think there must be more to this story that what we have been told.

I've been in Switzerland for 3 months and have an account with 7-8 UK banks, never heard a peep out of any of them.
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Old 27.03.2019, 20:37
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Re: Tax evasion

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These are two very different stories. Which is it? Do the Swiss banks tell British banks that you live in Switzerland, or not?
No they don't it would be a criminal offence, however Nat West can check where you are tax resident from HMRC.
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Who is "all"?

I have never been asked by any bank in the world to verify my address, except on the day I open an account.

How would Natwest know you have an account in Switzerland? I think there must be more to this story that what we have been told.

I've been in Switzerland for 3 months and have an account with 7-8 UK banks, never heard a peep out of any of them.
If you don't inform the Banks of your status they can freeze the accounts, it happens from time to time on the forum.
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Old 27.03.2019, 21:02
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Re: Tax evasion

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No they don't it would be a criminal offence, however Nat West can check where you are tax resident from HMRC.

If you don't inform the Banks of your status they can freeze the accounts, it happens from time to time on the forum.
But how would HMRC know where you are tax resident? I just told HMRC I'm leaving the UK, about a year ago. They gave me a tax refund and that's it. All my UK accounts are still running happily.
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Old 27.03.2019, 21:14
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Re: Tax evasion

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But how would HMRC know where you are tax resident? I just told HMRC I'm leaving the UK, about a year ago. They gave me a tax refund and that's it. All my UK accounts are still running happily.
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-533_en.htm
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Old 27.03.2019, 21:20
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Re: Tax evasion

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But how would HMRC know where you are tax resident? I just told HMRC I'm leaving the UK, about a year ago. They gave me a tax refund and that's it. All my UK accounts are still running happily.
You need to inform all of the accounts that you are non resident, there is now a criminal offence that the bank commits in the Uk if it 'facilitate' tax evasion. Thats why they are asking the OP questions.
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Old 27.03.2019, 22:48
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Re: Tax evasion

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You need to inform all of the accounts that you are non resident, there is now a criminal offence that the bank commits in the Uk if it 'facilitate' tax evasion. Thats why they are asking the OP questions.
Right, ok, but that is a different topic entirely.

OP says the bank somehow found out that he is in Switzerland and sent him a letter.

I asked how the bank can possibly know such a thing. You are saying the OP should have told them, because of some law. Which, even if true, does not address the question of how the bank can know.

Personally, I owe Natwest about 1000 pounds in an overdraft I never bothered to repay.. and I never got any letters from them.
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Old 27.03.2019, 22:57
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Re: Tax evasion

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These are two very different stories. Which is it? Do the Swiss banks tell British banks that you live in Switzerland, or not?
"The information that the bank holds on your bank account records shows a connection to Switzerland. Therefore, we identify you as being a potential tax resident of Switzerland. Please provide a certified copy of a valid passport issued by the jurisdiction in which you claim to be resident"

This above is what it's written on the letter. We have been in Switzerland for just few months now. We don't want to report any changes to the UK for now as we are not sure we want to stay in Switzerland.

After some investigation, we believe that this was triggered when we updated our Natwest bank records with a Swiss number to receive confirmation codes ... they must have also noticed few payments made by Natwest card.
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