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Tax evasion

France and Switzerland agree on OECD data exchange

By and agencies

France and Switzerland have agreed to meet OECD standards when it comes to data exchange between the two countries. Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, and her French counterpart, Michel Sapin, came to an agreement during his visit to Bern on Wednesday.

The newly-signed deal brings the previous double taxation agreement between the countries into line with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) standards. It was provisionally signed off on by Sapin’s predecessor, Pierre Moscovici, in March.

The agreement means the two countries want to give each other assistance in taxation matters and allow Switzerland to answer group requests from France on tax evasion issues.

In May, Switzerland joined numerous other countries in pledging to gather tax-related information from financial institutions and automatically exchange it every year, under the proposed new OECD rules.

The OECD standards consist of a model agreement, which serves as a basis for states to conclude relevant double-taxation agreements with each other. 

Widmer-Schlumpf believes that Switzerland will adopt the OECD standards on automatic exchange of client data by 2017/18, when all of the necessary commissions and parliamentary chambers have given it the go-ahead.

The two ministers discussed a number of other financial issues, including taxation of cross-border workers. They insisted they were pleased with the progress on all fronts, and that opposition in the Swiss parliament to a bill on the inheritance tax agreement had not affected their talks.

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