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Tax crackdown Swiss court denies Dutch request for UBS bank details

For now UBS remains unscathed by attempts by Dutch authorities to sniff out suspected tax evaders


On Monday, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court ruled that no administrative assistance should be provided to Dutch tax authorities concerning “group requests” made in July 2015, following an appeal by a Dutch client of the UBS bank. 

On July 23, 2015, the Dutch tax authorities had submitted a request to the Swiss Federal Tax Administration for UBS banking details on the basis of the double taxation treaty (DTT-NLL) that exists between Switzerland and the Netherlands since February 2010. The St. Gallen-based court viewed it as a “fishing” attempt. 

“Rather than disclosing any client names in its request, the Belastingdienst [Dutch tax authorities] merely indicated the criteria for identifying the UBS clients covered by the request,” said the court statement. “The protocol to the DTT-NL clearly states that the treaty prohibits group requests that do not disclose any names.” 

The court thus upheld the appeal of the Dutch citizen and denied the sharing of any details of his banking relationship with UBS with the Dutch authorities. 

This decision can be appealed before the Swiss Federal Court, the highest court in the country. 

Dutch authorities have been stung in recent years by claims that they have not cracked down on tax avoidance and have pledged to take more action.

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