Working visit to Bern by French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici

Bern, 06.03.2014 - Today in Bern, Federal Councillor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf met with the French Finance Minister, Pierre Moscovici, for talks on current bilateral financial and tax issues. In a joint statement, both ministers welcomed the continuation of the dialogue between the two countries. Prior to the meeting, there was a joint working lunch which was also attended by the Federal Councillors Johann Schneider-Ammann and Alain Berset.

During their meeting, both finance ministers noted with satisfaction the progress made in the Franco-Swiss tax dialogue. Federal Councillor Widmer-Schlumpf and her French counterpart Pierre Moscovici approved a joint declaration in which they welcomed the continuation of the dialogue. The ministers reiterated their commitment to the new inheritance agreement, which is preferable to an unregulated situation. Furthermore, they discussed various aspects of bilateral administrative assistance; in particular, a protocol to improve the exchange of information upon request was adapted. According to the joint declaration, international progress in the development of a global standard for the automatic exchange of information in tax matters could in future be one way to adapt bilateral relations between the two countries. Reciprocity and data protection are important for the new standard, as is a reliable means of identifying the beneficial owners of legal entities such as trusts. Furthermore, both ministers emphasised that there was a mutual interest in making arrangements for any previously untaxed assets. Corresponding efforts in both countries were acknowledged.

Other topics of discussion included improved market access, the taxation of cross-border commuters, lump-sum taxation and the swift resolution of unresolved tax issues to do with the bi-national airport Basel-Mulhouse.

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