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Switzerland To Improve Tax Information Exchange Regime

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

26 November 2019


Switzerland is to amend its domestic framework for the automatic exchange of information, in line with recommendations made by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.

The OECD's Global Forum conducts peer reviews of member countries in two phases. Phase 1 covers the legal and regulatory framework of the country concerned. Phase 2, to which Switzerland was admitted in 2015, assesses how effectively a territory exchanges tax information in practice.

Switzerland's AEOI framework has been operational since January 1, 2017.

Changes have been now been proposed to the Federal Act on the International Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters (AEOIA), following a consultation that ended in June 2019.

The changes will enhance due diligence obligations on Swiss financial institutions and enhance document retention rules. An exception from reporting will also be removed for condominium owners' associations.

The Federal Council decided, in line with consultation feedback, to retain exceptions for associations and foundations, as well as their accounts. The Federal Council said that as the handling of non-profit institutions under the AEOI will be discussed again at an international level, it believes it is premature to implement the Global Forum's recommendations in this area and will not therefore remove the exceptions.

The Federal Council expects Parliament to examine the proposal for the first time during the 2020 spring session. The changes would enter into force at the start of 2021 at the earliest.

TAGS: compliance | tax | tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) | tax compliance | legislation | Switzerland | revenue statistics

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