Swiss-US poised to revise tax treaty
Switzerland and the United States have confirmed talks will be held this month to update a bilateral tax treaty to include recent changes to banking secrecy laws.
The treaty is one of about 70 bilateral agreements Switzerland will have to renegotiate as a result of its decision to meet standards set by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development for international cooperation in tax matters.
US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Monday that he was looking forward to a "swift conclusion of an agreement" to enable the exchange of information for tax purposes, once talks begin in Bern on April 28.
"We believe that all countries must adhere to international standards for the exchange of tax information," he said in a statement.
The US rang Finance Minister Hans-Rudolf Merz to express its interest in talks just five hours after the Swiss cabinet's decision on March 13 to ease banking secrecy.
Switzerland has double taxation accords with about 70 countries and has concluded a withholding tax accord with the EU. France and Japan have also expressed an interest in revising their accords with Bern.
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