Swiss Bank Accounts: All procedures concluded, Switzerland to release information on Indians

New Delhi: Exchange of Banking information between India and Swiss Banks with the signed Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) agreement between the two nations is all set for its first exchange of information before the September 30.

News source the Indian Express reports when officials in the Swiss Finance Ministry and Swiss Federal Tax Administration officials were contacted in Berne, they have stated that that “several dispatches might be necessary” in the case of India, indicating the Swiss Finance Ministry is planning on sharing details of all Indians with Swiss banks accounts as of 2018 beginning with the Indian tax authorities.

With AEOIs implemented with 36 countries last year, India is among 73 countries with whom the information regarding the bank accounts shall be shared.

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The Swiss authorities have confirmed that legislative and Parliamentary procedures that need to be carried out prior to the exchange of banking information have been concluded and soon the information shall be released.

According to sources, information exchange of at least a hundred account is on the verge of being transferred to India.

A spokesperson for the Swiss Finance office has described this upcoming exchange as an “important milestone in the relationship between India and Switzerland”.

Here in New Delhi, senior officials of the Foreign Taxation & Tax Research (FT&TR) told the news source that they were “all set” to receive the bank account details under the AEOI.
“We have all the systems in place and are ready for the exchange. Following the delivery of the data, the Swiss account details will be compared with the tax returns of account holders and action taken wherever necessary,” a senior official said.

The Federal Tax Administration stated: “In Switzerland, every activation of the AEOI with a new partner state needs the approval of the Swiss Parliament. This requires the implementation of the legal authorization procedures (public consultation on the proposal; governmental dispatch for the attention of the Parliament; debate on the bill in both chambers of Parliament). Concerning India, the procedure was started in November 2016 and successfully completed in December 2017 so that AEOI could enter into force on 1 January 2018.”

“In addition, the Swiss Parliament also adopted a controlling mechanism ensuring that the partner states implement the AEOI in a standard-compliant manner before exchanging financial account information. For this purpose, the Government established a report on the results of the assessments. The report will be submitted to the competent parliamentary committees for consultation. We do not expect any difficulties with regards to India,” the Federal Tax Administration said.

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