Switzerland and the EU sign tax transparency agreement

Today Switzerland and the EU signed a tax transparency agreement in order to improve the fight against tax evasion.

Under the agreement, they will automatically exchange information on the financial accounts of their residents from 2018 ending Swiss bank secrecy for EU residents and preventing tax evaders from hiding undeclared income in Swiss accounts.

Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: ” The EU led the way on the automatic exchange of information, in the hope that our international partners would follow”

The automatic exchange of information is one of the most effective instruments for fighting tax evasion. It provides tax authorities with essential information about their residents foreign income.

Under this  agreement, Member States will receive, on an annual basis, the names, addresses, tax identification numbers and dates of birth of their residents with accounts in Switzerland, as well as other financial and account balance information.

This tax transparency instrument should not only improve Member States’ ability to fight tax evasion, but it should also act as a deterrent against hiding income and assets abroad to evade taxes.

This agreement is fully in line with the strengthened transparency requirements that Member States agreed amongst themselves last year. It is also consistent with the new OECD/G20 global standard for the automatic exchange of information.

The Commission is currently concluding negotiations for similar agreements with Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco and San Marino, which are expected to be signed before the end of the year.

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