Switzerland endorsed the new standard on automatic exchange of information designed to combat tax evasion. It also committed to activating the automatic information exchange of financial information from 2018 onwards.
Along with members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and G20, Switzerland endorsed the new automatic information sharing standard at the annual meeting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes in Berlin on Wednesday. This standardexternal link will give tax administrations around the world a very powerful new tool to tackle cross-border tax evasion and non-compliance.
The countries that have signed up to the standard are required to commit to an annual exchange of all financial information automatically on a reciprocal basis with all other participating countries. A group of 51 countries known as the Early Adopter Group have already agreed to initiate the first automatic information exchange from September 2017. Switzerland is not a member of this group despite being pressurised by countries like India to join it and commit to an early timeline.
Switzerland finally caved in and joined 35 other countries in committing to initiate the first automatic information exchange by 2018. However, the parliament and if necessary, the Swiss people, will need to give their approval before the 2018 timeline can be deemed as final.
“The pressure on Switzerland has decreased. The schedule announced by the cabinet for the automatic exchange of information has been very well received by our peers,” Fabrice Filliez, head of the Swiss delegation told the ATS news agency.