Switzerland agrees to more financial transparency from 2021

Apartment owners’ associations will have to share financial information from next year. Keystone / Jean-christophe Bott

The Alpine nation has agreed to plug a few loopholes in the implementation of the international standard for the automatic exchange of information. 

This content was published on November 11, 2020 - 15:27

On Wednesday, the governing Federal Council announced the entry into force of an amendment to the Ordinance on the International Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters (AEOIO) from January 1, 2021. The revision of the law follows the recommendations of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes made last year.  

The most significant change from 2021 is greater scrutiny of foreigners investing in Swiss real estate. Apartment owners’ associations will have to share financial information from next year. In addition, the obligation for reporting Swiss financial institutions to retain documents that could be useful for tax purposes will be explicitly enshrined in the law. 

However, not all the transparency recommendations were accepted by the Swiss government. Digital currency accounts will not be subject to the requirements of the automatic exchange of information. The same applies to foundations and associations. The Swiss government chose to maintain the status quo on these two issues despite pressure from the Global Forum.  

With the new reform, the Federal Tax Administration will also be able to suspend automatic exchange with a partner state if that state does not meet international requirements on data confidentiality and security. 

Since January 2017, Switzerland has been providing information on financial information concerning individuals and institutions to other countries on a reciprocal basis. For example, the details of Swiss bank accounts held by foreigners (or those with a fiscal residence abroad) are shared once a year with their countries of origin or residence.  The goal is to prevent Switzerland from becoming a hub for tax evasion and being blacklisted by the international community. 

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.