Switzerland's intergovernmental contacts with the US regarding financial and tax matters are diverse and are regularly used by the authorities. In recent years, the focus has been on the amendment to the double taxation agreement, the implementation of the FATCA agreement and the US banking programme.
Double taxation agreement
The protocol of amendment to the double taxation agreement (DTA) in the field of income tax between Switzerland and the US entered into force on 20 September 2019. It is a milestone in the tax relations between the two countries as it introduces the exchange of information upon request between Switzerland and the US in tax matters, in accordance with international standards. Furthermore, the entry into force of the protocol paves the way for a further revision of the DTA. The aim of such a revision is to make further improvements which take account of developments since the DTA was signed in 1996.
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a unilateral set of US regulations that applies worldwide for all countries. With FATCA, the United States wishes to ensure that all accounts held abroad by US taxpayers can be taxed. The agreement between Switzerland and the United States on cooperation to simplify the implementation of FATCA entered into force on 2 June 2014; the corresponding implementing act has been in force since 30 June 2014.
US banking programme
As a result of the Joint Statement signed in August 2013 and the unilateral US programme of the US Department of Justice (DoJ) that came into force at the same time, 80 Swiss banks have registered with the DoJ. In doing so, they have taken the opportunity to regularise their past.
Those banks against which the DoJ had already opened criminal investigations before August 2013 were not allowed to participate in the US programme. These banks sought individual solutions to regularise their past. A number of banks are still in negotiations with the DoJ.
Last modification 19.08.2020