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Banking secrecy rules on tax matters simplified

Parliament has endorsed a government plan to further ease legal assistance in tax matters for ten countries including Germany, Japan, Canada and India.

On the final day of the summer session, the Senate approved amendments to double taxation agreements in line with internationally applicable standards.

The other parliamentary chamber, the House of Representatives had agreed the treaties last April.

It is no longer necessary for those countries to provide the name and address of a taxpayer to request legal assistance. An account or social security number is sufficient to identify an account holder. However, so-called fishing expeditions remain excluded.

Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said the move could help prevent possible sanctions from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The government has proposed similar amendments for double taxation accords with ten other countries, including the United States, France and Britain.

In 2009 the cabinet decided to ease banking secrecy rules granting legal assistance not only in cases of tax fraud but also tax evasion.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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