The current question
What is Switzerland's position concerning the automatic exchange of information?
In the event of the automatic exchange of information becoming a worldwide standard, Switzerland is willing to discuss it. However, such a global standard would have to apply to all important financial centres, be they in the Americas, Europe or Asia. In addition, existing gaps must be closed in the identification of beneficial owners in the case of legal entities and trusts, and of other financial constructs.
State Secretariat for International Financial Matters
The State Secretariat for International Financial Matters (SIF) is responsible for the coordination and strategic management of international financial, monetary and tax matters.
Financial market policy
On December 19, 2012, the Federal Council adopted an overview of financial market policy. Included are measures to boost the competitiveness of the financial centre and to combat abuses in a more targeted manner.
Withholding tax agreements
With withholding tax agreements, Switzerland ensures that bank client confidentiality cannot be abused in order to hide untaxed foreign assets in Switzerland. Switzerland has signed agreements with the United Kingdom and Austria which have entered into force on 1 January 2013.
On February 14, 2013, Switzerland and the United States signed the FATCA agreement, which will help Swiss financial institutions by means of simplifications in the implementation of the US tax legislation.
Switzerland is prepared to discuss controversial company taxation issues with the EU Commission. The aim is to find an internationally accepted solution that strengthens the competitiveness of Switzerland as a business location and takes the federal and cantonal budgets into account.