|For decades, Switzerland had a reputation for bank secrecy that made it the most sought after tax haven for billionaires from around the globe. But, after more than 80 years of secrecy, a series of bilateral agreements with countries around the world, including America’s Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), have forced the private-banking industry in Switzerland to embrace an entirely new era of transparency that requires a full exchange of tax-relevant information with more than a hundred countries.
Which, as Bloomberg points out, has been a huge boon for Swiss operators of private vaults which are not subject to the same transparency and reporting requirements as banks. In fact, these super-secret, privately operated storage facilities buried around the Swiss Alps can basically store anything from anybody because they’re not even required to report suspicious activity to Switzerland’s Money Laundering Reporting Office.
|Moreover, American citizens aren’t required under FATCA to declare gold stored outside of financial institutions either. So perhaps it’s no surprise that, according to the Swiss defense department, of the roughly 1,000 former military bunkers still in existence across Switzerland, several hundred of them have been sold to private individuals who are now operating them as private storage sites for the gold stash of the world’s wealthiest of billionaires.
|And, of course, when you’re storing billions of dollars worth of gold bars, secrecy is a must. As one unanimous vault operator told Bloomberg, his vault sits adjacent a private landing strip which allows quick access to his former military bunker buried in the granite face a mountain deep in the Swiss Alps.
Billionaire Tax Evaders: 1; Internal Revenue Service: 0.
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Tags: Corruption,Falcon,John Cassara,newslettersent,Switzerland,Transparency