Switzerland will be able to provide banking and other details sought by other countries, that have concluded agreements with Switzerland on administrative assistance in tax matters to file “group”requests for information on their nationals suspected of tax evasion, even without their individual identification, provided the information has not been requested as part of some ‘fishing expedition’.
A new Tax Administrative Assistance Act will come into force February 1 and a resolution to this effect has been passed by the Switzerland’s Federal Council, a senior official in Swiss finance ministry said here.
With the new Tax Administrative Assistance Act (TAAA) coming into force next month, group requests in accordance with the international standards will now be possible as well.
Such requests would require a detailed description of the actions taken by any Swiss bank’s clients “to avoid taxation and must be clearly distinct from fishing expeditions,” the Swiss Federal Council has said in its resolution for the TAAA. This request can be made without requiring the authorities to first provide the names or personal data of the individuals targeted.
Fishing expedition is a term used for information requests without concrete indications of tax avoidance or other crimes and is generally undertaken with an aim to find something interesting.
The TAAA governs the execution of administrative assistance under double taxation agreements. The Act was approved by Swiss Parliament September 28, 2012, and a referendum for the same expired January 17, 2013, without a referendum being called.
The existing ordinance governing the implementation of double taxation agreements will be repealed when the TAAA comes into force February 1, 2013.
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