Withholding tax agreement with United Kingdom to be terminated
Bern, 14.11.2016 - The withholding tax agreement between Switzerland and the United Kingdom will be terminated on 1 January 2017. The agreement between Switzerland and the EU on the automatic exchange of information in tax matters will enter into force on that date. On 14 November 2016, Switzerland and the United Kingdom signed a corresponding agreement in London to ensure a smooth transition between the two models.
The withholding tax agreement between Switzerland and the United Kingdom entered into force on 1 January 2013. It allowed the regularisation of assets held in Switzerland by UK taxpayers and the taxation of income generated by these assets based on the Federal Council's financial integrity strategy. In accordance with this agreement, UK taxpayers had the option of either paying withholding tax levied directly on their accounts and anonymously transmitted to the UK authorities or opting for voluntary disclosure. However, this model loses its reason to exist at all with the introduction of the automatic exchange of information between Switzerland and the EU as of 1 January 2017, which concerns the 28 member states and Gibraltar.
The termination agreement governs in particular the arrangements for transferring the last tax amounts and the forwarding of the last voluntary disclosures to the UK tax authorities. The provisions of the withholding tax agreement will continue to apply for all facts and legal rights that materialised during its period of validity.
Switzerland also concluded a withholding tax agreement with Austria which will be terminated when switching to the automatic exchange of information standard with the EU. Both countries signed a corresponding agreement on 11 November 2016.
Address for enquiries
Anne Césard, Deputy Head of Communications, State Secretariat for International Financial Matters SIF
Tel. +41 58 462 62 91, firstname.lastname@example.org
Federal Department of Finance