Swiss noose tightens around suspected Dutch tax evaders

The Federal Court in Lausanne says the request for assistance is not a fishing expedition Keystone

The Federal Tax Administration (FTA) is allowed deliver to the Netherlands information regarding group requests on UBS clients, following a decision by the Federal Court in Lausanne.

This content was published on September 12, 2016 - 16:14 and agencies, and agencies

The judges on Monday overturned a decision by the Federal Administrative Court in St Gallen, thus clearing the way for group requests in the investigation of tax crimes. The requests involve clients whose accounts have been terminated by Swiss banks.

Until recently the administrative court had rejected these requests because no names of potential tax evaders were mentioned, viewing such requests as so-called fishing expeditionsExternal link.

However, the federal court concluded that the situation had changed politically, saying the basis for mutual assistance was the double tax agreement signed between Switzerland and the Netherlands.

The judges also said the request for assistance was not a fishing expedition because the Dutch authorities had asked Swiss bank UBS for the names and tax situation of Dutch citizens for whom UBS had not provided satisfactory information. What’s more, UBS had now ended its business relationship with these clients.

In September 2015, the Dutch authorities requested information on a large number of UBS account holders living in the Netherlands as part of a tax investigation. It was the first large-scale request for assistance with tax-related banking information that Switzerland received from a country other than the United States. 

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