Switzerland Proposes Data Sharing Framework

July 8, 2013 Taxation in SwitzerlandTaxation in USA

Swiss BanksBERN – Banks in Switzerland may soon have a system of sharing data during tax investigations by the USA, thanks to a new framework being proposed by the government.

On June 3rd the Federal Council of Switzerland unveiled new protocols for solving information sharing disputes between financial institutions in Switzerland and the tax authorities in the USA, without compromising the country’s infamous bank-secrecy rules and still staying “…within the scope of existing law and particularly data protection and employment law provisions”.

The Council stated that Swiss banks may apply to the national government for permission to provide US tax authorities with limited information about clients’ bank accounts, but the passed information may not contain the name or particulars of the customer, and instead may only consist of the name and details of the bank employees and external third parties who were involved with the account.

According to the Federal Council, the new sharing plan does not breach any of the conditions contained in the information sharing agreements already signed by the USA and Switzerland.

The Council expects that the new protocols will help resolve the on-going disputes between the banks and US authorities.

Currently 14 Swiss financial institutions are under investigation by US authorities for allegedly assisting clients to evade their US tax obligations.
Photo by thinkpanama