UK taxpayers with Swiss bank accounts could soon be forced to pay tax on the interest they earn on savings held there, it has emerged.
The Treasury is holding talks with the Swiss government over exchanging information to ensure that people with the accounts pay the right amount of tax.
The Government is asking the Swiss authorities to increase the amount of information they provide to HM Revenue & Customs when it asks for details on accounts held by UK taxpayers.
Switzerland has strict laws in place, under which it will not give details on people who have accounts with its banks, unless HMRC can provide a name and say which bank an account is held with.
The law forbids automatic information exchange, under which other countries, such as France and the US, send complete information to HMRC on accounts held by UK taxpayers.
A Treasury source said: "Ministerial negotiations have started between the Swiss and UK Government with the aim that UK residents with Swiss bank accounts pay tax on the interest they earn."