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Brazil puts Switzerland on financial blacklist

The Brazilian government has decided Switzerland is a tax paradise and has placed it on a financial blacklist.

This content was published on June 14, 2010 - 11:09

The Swiss finance ministry has confirmed reports in the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper, adding that it had asked the Swiss ambassador in Brazil “to express the Swiss authorities’ surprise” to the relevant ministries.

The Brazilian decision is linked to a deal between Switzerland and the United States that would enable the handover of data on thousands of customers of the Swiss bank UBS. The House of Representatives blocked the move last week.

According to the newspaper Estado do São Paolo, the Brazilian authorities have placed Switzerland and 13 other countries onto a blacklist owing to “banking and commercial secrecy”.

Last week a series of double taxation accords that were revised to keep Switzerland off a tax haven “grey list” were passed by parliament. The ten agreements were updated in line with international transparency standards set by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Switzerland was last year placed on an OECD grey list of countries that had pledged to meet international standards, but not yet ratified bilateral treaties.

It was removed from the list in September after revising and signing 12 double taxation accords, as required by the OECD. The revisions did away with a distinction between fraud and evasion which determined whether administrative aid could be given to other countries cracking down on tax cheats.

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