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.
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a unilateral set of US regulations that applies worldwide for all countries. It requires foreign financial institutions to disclose information on US accounts to the Internal Revenue Service or levy a high tax.
The administrative and financial burden associated with the implementation of FATCA is considerable for foreign financial institutions. The FATCA agreement reduces this burden as it makes provision for administrative simplifications for Swiss financial institutions.
Models 1 and 2
FATCA implementation in Switzerland is based on Model 2, which means Swiss financial institutions disclose account details directly to the US tax authority with the consent of the US clients concerned. Where US clients do not give their consent, the United States has to request this data through normal administrative assistance channels.
Since 20 September 2019 – when the protocol of amendment to the double taxation agreement between Switzerland and the USA came into force – FATCA group requests can be made for cases from 30 June 2014. Further information, in particular guidance on preparing FATCA group requests, can be found on the Federal Tax Administration website:
On 8 October 2014, the Federal Council approved the mandate for negotiations with the United States on switching to Model 1, which provides for the automatic exchange of information. It is still unknown at the present time when there will be a corresponding agreement.
FATCA Qualification Committee
The FATCA Qualification Committee promotes cooperation between the stakeholders involved. It deals with issues arising from the implementation of the FATCA agreement. However, Switzerland is not autonomous in the interpretation of the agreement. In certain cases, consultation with the USA is required. The assessments reflect the opinion of the FATCA Qualification Committee, which has been consulted together with the relevant US authorities where necessary.
Leadership of the Qualification Committee lies with SIF. The other members include the Federal Tax Administration FTA, the Federal Social Insurance Office FSIO and the following institutions: the Swiss Bankers Association, the Swiss Pension Fund Association, the Swiss Insurance Association, the Swiss Funds & Asset Management Association, SwissHoldings, the Swiss Association of Asset Managers and SIX Group.
Federal Tax Administration (FTA):
Administrative assistance under FATCA
Last modification 13.08.2020