There are no frozen personal bank accounts or other assets in Switzerland in the name of Viktor Yanukovych
You can download this press release as a PDF in English or Russian. The Swiss Federal Councils Decision of 13 December 2019 to extend for one year its freeze on the assets of President Yanukovych and his entourage, and the press release it has published on this occasion does not assert that President Yanukovych had or has any assets in Switzerland. On the contrary, as previously clarified in a letter dated 1 March 2017 (issued in respect of the Swiss Federal Councils similar decision and an announcement made in 2016), the Swiss authorities confirmed that:
there are no bank accounts or other assets in Switzerland held in the name of President Yanukovych that they have frozen (as President Yanukovych himself has always contended); and
the asset freezes imposed by Switzerland concern other persons (i.e. not President Yanukovych) listed in the Appendix to the Ordinance on the Freezing of Assets in Connection with Ukraine.
We draw attention again to our earlier Press Releases dated 3 March 2017 and 22 December 2017 dealing, respectively, with the 2016 Decision and announcement and 2017 Decision. The Swiss Federal Council still do not clearly state who the CHF 70 million referred to in their announcements belongs to, but, that said, the Swiss Federal Council has previously, in its 1 March 2017 letter, officially acknowledged that it does not belong to President Yanukovych. Indeed, the Swiss Federal Council, in its 13 December 2019 announcement, observes that Court rulings on the illicit origin of the assets have yet to be rendered in Ukraine. In the most recent proceedings before the General Court of the European Union, previously imposed sanctions against President Yanukovych, in place from March 2016-March 2019, were annulled. ENDS Notes to editors Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP is a law firm based in London representing President Yanukovych and Mr Oleksandr Viktorovych Yanukovych: www.jha.com Enquiries to Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP, Tel.: +44 (0)20 7851 8888.
The End is Nigh for the Non-Dom Regime
Published in ThoughtLeaders4 Private Client Magazine, Helen McGhee expert analysis of the current state of non-dom tax regime and it's future.
HMRC Makes Changes to COP9
On 14 June 2023, HMRC published a substantially rewritten Code of Practice 9 (“COP9”). Helen McGhee and Megan Durnford set out the key changes implemented as a result of this publication.
Pandora Papers: HMRC issues nudge letters
The Pandora Papers leak of almost 12m documents back in 2021 purportedly exposed the secret accounts and dealings (including potential tax evasion/ avoidance and money laundering) of 35 world leaders (including the late HM Elizabeth II), as well as many politicians and billionaires. The data was obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in Washington DC and led to one of the biggest ever global financial investigations.
Increased Investment in Personal Tax Compliance in the UK (Published in Thought Leaders 4 Private Client)
Advances in technology and increased international fiscal co-operation have made global personal tax compliance initiatives pop up in abundance in recent years. To compound the issue, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the corresponding economic fallout prompted domestic governments to increase transparency in relation to investments held by wealthy foreign individuals (with a focus on oligarchs).
In the UK, in the context of the cost-of-living crisis, public opinion certainly seems to be in favour of increased accountability for high-net-worth individuals (eg, on 9 October 2022, 63% of Britons surveyed thought that “the rich are not paying enough and their taxes should be increased”).1
HMRC is one of the most sophisticated tax collection authorities in the world and the department is making significant investments in technology in the field of compliance work; they are well placed to take advantage of new international efforts to increase tax compliance, particularly considering the already extensive network of 130 bilateral tax treaties in the UK (the largest in the world).2 The UK was also a founding member of the OECD’s Joint International Taskforce on Shared Intelligence and Collaboration (JITSIC) forum.
This article discusses the main developments in support of the increased focus on international transparency and personal tax compliance in the UK. There are other international fiscal initiatives, particularly in the field of corporate taxation, but such initiatives are beyond the scope of this article.
It should be noted that a somewhat piecemeal approach, with constant tinkering makes compliance difficult for the taxpayer and is often criticised for lacking the certainty that a stable tax system needs to thrive.
This article was first published with ThoughtLeaders4 Private Client Magazine
Tax-Related Measures in the Autumn Statement 2022
On 17 November 2022, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, unveiled the contents of the Autumn Budget 2022. This comes after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published its world economic forecast on 11 October 2022. The IMF expects the British economy to grow 3.6% in 2022 and 0.3% in 2023. Other major developed economies are also expected to stagnate next year, namely Spain (1.2%), the US (1.0%), France (0.7%), Italy (-0.2%) and Germany (-0.3%).
This note focuses on tax measures included as part of that statement.