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Switzerland, Greece To Conclude Swift Tax Deal

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

13 November 2012


Following consultation with the relevant parliamentary committees, the Swiss Federal Council has adopted the mandate for negotiations on a withholding tax agreement with Greece.

Bern and Athens are striving towards the swift conclusion of an agreement, similar to the agreements with Germany, the UK and Austria.

The Swiss Federal Department of Finance (FDF) says: “The agreement will permit the regularization of undeclared Greek assets in Switzerland and the introduction of a final withholding tax with Greece in the future.”

It adds: “In return, Switzerland should gain better market access for financial services. The two countries have been conducting negotiations on these issues for some months.”

At the same time, the Federal Council adopted a text of the revision of the bilateral double taxation agreement (DTA) with Portugal, with respect to taxes on income and assets, and submitted it to parliament for approval.

The FDF explains that the revised DTA contains provisions on the exchange of information in accordance with the international standard applicable at present and will serve to contribute to the development of bilateral economic relations.

The FDF states: “The changes associated with the revision of the DTA concern reductions in, or even exemption from, the withholding tax on dividends, interest and royalty payments in the source state.”

It emphasizes: “Thanks to these advantages, the revised text will facilitate exports, encourage bilateral investments and contribute to Switzerland's prosperity and that of Portugal.”

The Swiss cantons and business associations concerned approved conclusion of the agreement.

The FDF also announced recently that the double taxation agreement in the area of taxes on income signed between Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates has now entered into force, highlighting the fact that this accord also contains an administrative assistance clause in accordance with the international standard and will contribute to the further positive development of bilateral economic relations.

The agreement, which entered into force on October 21, 2012, applies to withholding taxes paid from January 1, 2012, and all other taxes starting from January 1, 2013. It is the first agreement of this kind between Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.

TAGS: United Arab Emirates | Finance | tax | investment | double tax agreement (DTA) | Portugal | interest | royalties | banking | financial services | Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) | offshore | agreements | offshore banking | withholding tax | Greece | Switzerland | dividends | services

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