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Switzerland Stands Firm On Stolen Data Information Requests

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

03 September 2015


The Swiss Federal Council has launched a consultation on proposed amendments to the Tax Administrative Assistance Act to clarify its application in the case of stolen data.

The Federal Council said that while Switzerland will continue to reject administrative assistance requests based on stolen data actively acquired by the requesting state outside of administrative assistance proceedings, it intends to respond to requests based on data obtained through the normal administrative assistance channels or from public sources. Any overseas taxpayers affected will retain their legal right to appeal against the exchange of bank client data within the usual framework of administrative assistance.

In 2013, the Federal Council proposed a relaxation of administrative assistance practices in the case of stolen data. However, a majority of the cantons, parties, and business associations rejected the proposal. The Council said that international practice has since established that exceptions to the exchange of information will only be tolerated on a very restricted basis.

The Council added that Swiss practices have been called into question by a number of jurisdictions and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's Global Forum on Tax Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. It hopes that the new reforms will place the country in a better position ahead of its Phase 2 Global Forum assessment.

The consultation will last until December 2, 2015. Legislation will be discussed in Parliament in summer 2016.

TAGS: tax | business | tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) | banking | tax authority | legislation | Switzerland

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