Federal Council adopts dispatch on automatic exchange of tax information with eight states and territories

Bern, 06.07.2016 - Today, the Federal Council adopted the dispatch on the introduction of the automatic exchange of financial account information with Iceland, Norway, Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man, Japan, Canada and the Republic of Korea, and submitted it to Parliament for approval. The proposal met with widespread approval in the consultation.

Switzerland signed joint declarations with these states and territories in January and February 2016 with a view to introducing the automatic exchange of financial account information. The associated federal decrees were subsequently put out for consultation. The federal decrees are the subject of this dispatch.

The automatic exchange of information with the eight states and territories is due to enter into force on 1 January 2017. The first exchange of data should take place in 2018, provided the approval processes in Switzerland and the eight partner states and territories have been completed by then. Switzerland's first automatic exchange with the EU (28 member states) and Australia is also scheduled for then.

From a legal viewpoint, Switzerland and the eight partner states and territories will exchange information automatically based on the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (MCAA). The MCAA in turn is based on the OECD/Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (administrative assistance convention). Both the administrative assistance convention and the MCAA were adopted by Parliament in December 2015 together with the Federal Act on the International Automatic Exchange of Information on Tax Matters (AEIA). The referendum deadline expired on 9 April 2016 without a referendum being called.

The eight states and territories fit the profile of countries with which the Federal Council wishes to introduce the automatic exchange of information in accordance with the negotiation mandate of 8 October 2014. They meet the international requirements in terms of tax data confidentiality and offer their taxpayers sufficient scope for regularisation. Moreover, they are prepared to look in more detail at the issue of possible ways of facilitating market access for financial service providers.

Switzerland intends to agree on the automatic exchange of information with further states and territories. It is important for the Federal Council that a level playing field be created among states and that all major financial centres, in particular, be included.

Address for enquiries

Anne C├ęsard, Communications, State Secretariat for International Financial Matters SIF
Tel. +41 58 462 62 91, anne.cesard@sif.admin.ch


The Federal Council

Federal Department of Finance