Switzerland and Australia sign joint declaration on introduction of automatic exchange of information in tax matters
Bern, 03.03.2015 - Today in Canberra, Switzerland and Australia signed a joint declaration on the introduction of the automatic exchange of information in tax matters on a reciprocal basis. This is the first such declaration signed by Switzerland with a partner state. In accordance with their commitment to the Global Forum, Switzerland and Australia intend to start collecting data in 2017 and first transmit data in 2018, after the necessary legal basis has been created in both countries.
The joint declaration signed by Switzerland and Australia meets the criteria set by the Federal Council in the negotiation mandates of 8 October 2014. Aside from the EU and the United States, the negotiations initially concern individual other countries with which there are close economic ties and which provide their taxpayers with sufficient scope for regularisation. Australia fits this profile.
From a legal viewpoint, the two countries will exchange information automatically based on the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (MCAA). The MCAA is based on the international standard for the exchange of information developed by the OECD. During the Global Forum meeting in Berlin last October, almost 100 states committed to adopting the standard and to starting exchanging information on this basis for the first time in 2017 or 2018.
The joint declaration specifies that each jurisdiction is satisfied with the confidentiality rules provided for in the other jurisdiction with regard to tax. Moreover, Australia has established a regularisation procedure for its taxpayers. Finally, Australia has also declared its willingness to hold talks on improving market access for Swiss financial service providers.Following the signing of this declaration, the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) will prepare a consultation draft on the introduction of the automatic exchange of information in tax matters with Australia. The corresponding Federal decree will be submitted to Parliament for approval.
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