Switzerland takes important step to boost international cooperation against tax evasion


19/11/14 - 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.

The landmark decision comes just weeks after Switzerland told the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes that it would implement in a timely manner the Exchange of information developed by the OECD and G20 countries. The Swiss decision is subject to Parliamentary approval, as well as the possibility that voters may be asked to approve the necessary laws and agreements.

The Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement is a framework agreement based on the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. It was signed by 51 jurisdictions during the annual meeting of the Global Forum on 29 October 2014 in Berlin.

Bilateral information exchanges will come into effect between signatories after subsequent notifications are filed, as required under the Agreement. A group of early adopters have pledged to work 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 endorsed by G20 Leaders at the Leaders’ Summit on 15-16 November 2014 in Brisbane, Australia. It provides for exchange of all financial information on an annual basis, automatically. Most jurisdictions have committed to implementing this Standard on a reciprocal basis with all interested jurisdictions.

For further information, please contact Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (CTPA), Achim Pross, Head of the International Co-operation and Tax Administration Division, or the OECD Media Office (+33 1 4524 9700).


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