The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Global Forum) published today 10 new peer review reports demonstrating continuing progress toward implementation of the international standard for exchange of information on request.
This report contains the 2014 “Phase 2: Implementation of the Standards in Practice” Global Forum review of Switzerland.
The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes is the multilateral framework within which work in the area of tax transparency and exchange of information is carried out by over 130 jurisdictions which participate in the work of the Global Forum on an equal footing.
The Global Forum is charged with in-depth monitoring and peer review of the implementation of the standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes. These standards are primarily reflected in the 2002 OECD Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters and its commentary, and in Article 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital and its commentary as updated in 2004, which has been incorporated in the UN Model Tax Convention.
The standards provide for international exchange on request of foreseeably relevant information for the administration or enforcement of the domestic tax laws of a requesting party. “Fishing expeditions” are not authorised, but all foreseeably relevant information must be provided, including bank information and information held by fiduciaries, regardless of the existence of a domestic tax interest or the application of a dual criminality standard.
All members of the Global Forum, as well as jurisdictions identified by the Global Forum as relevant to its work, are being reviewed. This process is undertaken in two phases. Phase 1 reviews assess the quality of a jurisdiction’s legal and regulatory framework for the exchange of information, while Phase 2 reviews look at the practical implementation of that framework. Some Global Forum members are undergoing combined – Phase 1 plus Phase 2 – reviews. The ultimate goal is to help jurisdictions to effectively implement the international standards of transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.
This database provides information on environmentally related taxes, fees and charges, tradable permit systems, deposit refund systems, environmentally motivated subsidies and voluntary approaches used in environmental policy in OECD member countries and a number of other countries. Developed in co-operation between the OECD and the European Environment Agency.
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Switzerland has the 6th lowest tax wedge among the 34 OECD member countries in 2015. The country occupied the same position in 2014. The average single worker in Switzerland faced a tax wedge of 22.2% in 2015, compared with the OECD average of 35.9%.
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The tax burden in Switzerland declined by 0.3 percentage points from 26.9% to 26.6% in 2014. The corresponding figures for the OECD average were an increase of 0.2 percentage points from 34.2% to 34.4%.
The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes published today 9 new peer review reports, including a Phase 1 Supplementary Report for Switzerland, demonstrating continuing progress toward implementation of the international standard for exchange of information on request.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Challenge Partnership is a new and important weapon in the international anti-corruption arsenal. The OECD has also made tackling corruption a priority.
Switzerland has today become the 52nd jurisdiction to sign the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement, which will allow it to go forward with plans to activate automatic exchange of financial account information in tax matters with other countries beginning in 2018.
Switzerland has become the 58th country to sign the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters during a ceremony at the OECD.
The tax burden in Switzerland is low in international comparison, largely reflecting the substantial non-tax compulsory contributions towards the health and pension systems which are managed by private institutions. Taxation of personal income and labour earnings is relatively high, whereas the taxation of consumption is low.