Switzerland signs declarations on introduction of AEOI with more countries and initiates consultation

Bern, 20.01.2016 - Switzerland has signed joint declarations on the introduction of the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) in tax matters on a reciprocal basis with the British crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, as well as with Iceland and Norway. Switzerland and these countries intend to start collecting data in accordance with the global AEOI standard in 2017 and to start transmitting data in 2018, after the necessary legal basis has been created in the various countries.

The joint declarations signed by Switzerland and these countries meet the criteria set by the Federal Council in the negotiation mandates of 8 October 2014. Aside from the EU and the United States, the negotiations initially concern countries with which there are close economic ties and which provide their taxpayers with sufficient scope for regularisation. Switzerland has already signed a joint declaration of this nature with Australia. In addition, an agreement on the introduction of the AEOI has already been concluded with the EU.

From a legal viewpoint, the AEOI will be implemented based on the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (MCAA). The MCAA is based on the international standard for the exchange of information developed by the OECD. Up to now, almost 100 states have undertaken to adopt the standard and to start exchanging information on this basis in 2017 or 2018.

The declarations signed by Switzerland and the countries specify that each jurisdiction is satisfied with the confidentiality rules provided for in the other jurisdiction with regard to tax. Furthermore, these countries have prepared scope for regularisation for their taxpayers. Finally, Iceland and Norway have reiterated their intention to start talks on market access for Swiss financial service providers. The possibility of providing financial services in the British crown dependencies already exists to a large extent.

The Federal Council authorised the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) to initiate a consultation on introducing the AEOI with the other countries following the signing of the declarations with the various countries. Thereafter, the corresponding federal decrees will be submitted to Parliament for approval.


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