Switzerland plans to boost global cooperation against tax evasion

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Switzerland has become the 52nd jurisdiction to sign the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement, which will allow it to progress with plans to activate the exchange of financial account information in tax matters automatically with other countries starting in 2018.
Switzerland has become the 52nd jurisdiction to sign the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement, which will allow it to progress with plans to activate the exchange of financial account information in tax matters automatically with other countries starting in 2018.

The landmark decision comes just weeks after Switzerland told the Global Forum that it would implement the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Information in Tax Matters developed by the OECD in a timely manner. The Swiss decision is subject to Parliamentary approval, as well as a potential poll to vote to approve the necessary laws and agreements.

The Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement is still in the drafting stages and is based on the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. It already was signed by 51 jurisdictions during the annual meeting of the Global Forum on the 29th of October 2014 in Berlin. A group of early adopters are currently working towards launching their first information exchanges by September 2017. Others, including Switzerland, are expected to follow in 2018.

The Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters was supported by the G20 Leaders at the Leaders’ Summit in November 2014 in Brisbane, Australia. It will allow the exchange of all financial information on an annual basis automatically. Most jurisdictions have committed to implementing this standard on a mutual basis with other countries which will hopefully deter global tax evasion significantly.