SWISS BANKS: Indian Citizens lose appeal for Trust Disclosure

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The Swiss Federal Administrative Court in St Gallen has denied an appeal by two Indian citizens and two businesses who are seeking to avoid their British Virgin Islands trust accounts being disclosed to the tax authorities in India.

The HSBC Private Bank Suisse leaked the information several years ago to the French authorities, who have since widely spread the information.

Two Indian women, Sneh Lata Sawhney and Sangita Sawhney, both with Swiss bank accounts, were identified by the official gazette in Switzerland for being investigated in their respective countries in 2015.

The Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) asked the two Indian citizens to file an appeal before the Federal Administrative Court if they do not wish for their information to be exchanged with the authorities in India under their ‘mutual assistance’ tax matters treaty.

The Indian Government has been pressing the authorities in Switzerland for a while to share details on the alleged tax evaders. However, Switzerland has shared some information in certain cases where India has been capable to supply some separate evidence of suspected tax evasion by Indian customers of Swiss banks.