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India Pressures Switzerland To Ratify OECD Tax Convention

by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

30 May 2014


Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram has urged Switzerland to expedite its ratification of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD's) convention on mutual assistance in tax matters to ensure effective sharing of tax information between the two countries.

In his May 15 letter to Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, head of Swiss Federal Department of Finance, he said: "I would urge you and your government to ratify the multilateral convention on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters as early as possible."

"Once you ratify the convention, I am confident that your government will abide by its obligation under the convention as well as under the declaration that your country signed on May 6, 2014," he added.

Earlier this month, several countries, including India and Switzerland, adopted a global declaration for automatic exchange of tax information formulated by the OECD. Among other things, the declaration is aimed at tackling cross-border tax fraud and evasion, and promoting international tax compliance through mutual administrative assistance in tax matters.

At its 2014 Ministerial Meeting concluded on May 7, 2014, the OECD called upon all countries to sign and ratify the MAT convention without further delay.

"Efforts made by India and other OECD/G-20 countries are bearing fruit," Chidambaram said in an earlier press statement of May 12, 2014. "I believe that the day is not far off when all major financial centres will be parties to an effective exchange of information on automatic basis."

"We intend to continue to pressure Switzerland to ratify the [convention] as well as abide by its obligations under the declaration that it signed on May 6, 2014," he added.

TAGS: compliance | tax | tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) | tax compliance | India | tax avoidance | Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) | Switzerland | G20 | mutual assistance agreement | Tax | Tax Evasion

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