Switzerland Legislates For Automatic Exchange tax-related information
The Swiss Federal Council has launched two parallel consultations on legislation that would enable Switzerland to automatically exchange tax-related information from 2018.
The first consultation concerns draft legislation arising from Switzerland’s October 2013 signature of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development‘s (OECD’s) Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. The legislation provides the substantive legal basis for administrative assistance between Switzerland and the other signatories. The amendments would enable Switzerland to exchange information upon request, spontaneously, or automatically.
The second consultation relates to Switzerland‘s participation in the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information, which Switzerland signed in November 2014, and implementing legislation to enable automatic information exchange.
In general, the legislative amendments are intended to allow Switzerland to exchange information in line with the common reporting standard developed by the OECD and the Group of 20 nations (G-20). The Federal Council said that its decision to sign the administrative assistance convention and implement the global automatic exchange of information standard is in line with its strategy to ensure a competitive Swiss financial center.
Bilateral negotiations on automatic information exchange have begun with the European Commission and possible partner states, and further talks are to commence in the near future, the Government said.
Both consultations are to run until April 21, 2015. It is anticipated that parliamentary debate on the legislation will begin in the autumn. Even with a possible referendum, the legal foundations for the automatic exchange of information could be in place from the beginning of 2017. The first automatic exchange would then take place in 2018.