Switzerland To Share More Tax Data

July 19, 2012 International Tax CooperationTaxation in Switzerland

Information sharing SwitzerlandBERN – Switzerland will soon loosen its own rules for sharing taxpayer information and will begin to accept requests for data on cases of tax evasion committed by several individuals.

On July 18th the Switzerland’s Federal Department of Finance announced that it intends to implement legislation in line with new OECD information sharing guidelines, which will allow Switzerland’s tax authorities to share greater amounts of information on overseas residents who hold bank accounts in Switzerland, and will better facilitate the sharing of data regrading suspected cases of tax evasion involving more than one individual.

The new rules will allow all OECD member countries to ask for information from the Swiss authorities on individuals with bank account held in Switzerland without having to identify each member of the group individually. The requests for more data will still need to meet a number of per-determined “specific search criteria”, and will not be accepted if they are part of a “roving investigation” or “fishing expedition”.

In its statement the Switzerland’s Federal Department of Finance explained why the new rules were implemented, saying that the OECD has amended its Model Tax Convection on Tax Administrative Assistance to include rules and provisions for facilitating requests for information on groups of individuals. The Department also said that representatives of the Federal Council of Switzerland have already agreed to the amendments on behalf of Switzerland.

According to the Swiss State Secretariat for International Financial Matters Mario Tuor, the draft of the new legislation has already been approved by the upper house of parliament, and will be voted on by the lower house in September.

Photo by amish.patel