Tax agreement: the FDF takes note of the decision of Germany's Bundesrat
Bern, 23.11.2012 - The Federal Department of Finance (FDF) has taken note of today's decision by Germany's Bundesrat on the bilateral withholding tax agreement. Following approval by the Bundestag, the agreement did not receive the required number of "yes" votes in the Bundesrat.
The President of the Swiss Confederation and Head of the FDF, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, stated that "Switzerland remains prepared to bring the ratification process with Germany to a successful conclusion". There are no obstacles to ratification on the Swiss side, given that parliament approved the agreement in June and the referendum did not take place. The procedure has not yet been completed in Germany. The outcome of a conciliation committee that may be convened - comprising members of both the Bundestag and the Bundesrat -remains to be seen.
The withholding tax agreement concluded between Switzerland and Germany makes it possible to solve the long-standing problem of untaxed German funds in Switzerland and thereby to improve bilateral relations. The agreement ensures implementation of Germany's legitimate tax claims and at the same time protects the privacy of bank clients.
The ratification process with the United Kingdom and Austria has already been concluded. The President of the Swiss Confederation, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, emphasised that "Switzerland will in any case bring the withholding tax agreements with the United Kingdom and Austria into force on 1 January 2013". Furthermore, Switzerland is currently holding negotiations with Italy and Greece on agreements of this nature. Other countries both within and outside Europe have also shown an interest in this model.
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