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Switzerland consults on spontaneous exchange of tax information

25 April 2016

Switzerland consults on spontaneous exchange of tax information

The Swiss Federal Council has unveiled plans to revise the Tax Administrative Assistance Ordinance, which governs the spontaneous exchange of tax information, reports Tax News.

The Council has launched a consultation on the proposals, which will run until August 10th.

It said the intended revisions would enable closer cooperation between the Confederation and the cantons and ensure the Ordinance's uniform application throughout the country. The revised Ordinance also contains provisions that set out what information can be disclosed to foreign tax authorities, along with the procedural and deadline requirements for such exchanges.

In addition, the new Ordinance defines the categories of advance tax rulings that can be covered by the spontaneous exchange of information. The Council said these provisions are compatible with the recommendations resulting from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD's) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project.

The Council explained that the Ordinance will now be based on the OECD/Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters and the revised Tax Administrative Assistance Act (TAAA), which governs the implementation of the Convention in Switzerland. The Convention and the revised TAAA were adopted by the Swiss Parliament last December. They will both enter into force on January 1, 2017.  The spontaneous exchange of information will be limited to the countries that have signed the OECD Convention.

The Council expects the revised Ordinance to enter into force on January 1st, 2017. This would enable the first exchanges of information to take place from January 1st, 2018.

The Council said that, to limit the administrative burden imposed by the new regime, advance tax rulings issued before January 1st, 2010, will be excluded from the spontaneous exchange of information, in line with OECD recommendations.

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