French get list of tax suspects from Swiss: report

French get list of tax suspects from Swiss: report

Geneva: France has received a list of 3,000 French taxpayers with bank accounts in Switzerland as part of a double taxation agreement signed between the two countries last week, according to a report in a French newspaper on Sunday.

French Budget Minister Eric Woerth was quoted in the weekly Journal du Dimanche as saying that the accounts contained some $4.3 billion, “some of which is very likely linked to tax evasion."

Woerth called on the account holders to come forward and bring their tax affairs in order by the end of the year. He ruled out an amnesty for tax evaders. “That would be an indefensible injustice," he said according to the interview published on the paper’s website.

Swiss officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

If confirmed, it would be the second time Switzerland has agreed to set aside its strict banking secrecy rules and hand over the names of foreigners suspected of tax evasion.

Earlier this month Switzerland agreed to give the United States the names of 4,450 American taxpayers suspected of setting up secret offshore accounts with the help of Swiss bank UBS AG. The deal was part of a settlement to end a long-running US probe against UBS, which became the focus of Washington’s efforts to crack down on tax evaders.