Switzerland takes further step towards introduction of automatic exchange of information

Bern, 19.11.2014 - Today, the Federal Council approved a declaration on Switzerland joining the multilateral agreement on the automatic exchange of information in tax matters. This international agreement, which was developed within the framework of the OECD, forms a basis for the future introduction of the cross-border automatic exchange of information. The question regarding the countries with which Switzerland should introduce this exchange of data is not affected by the signing of the multilateral agreement; it will be presented to Parliament separately at a later stage.

Cross-border tax evasion should be prevented with the help of the new global standard for the automatic exchange of information (AEOI). On 29 October 2014, 51 states and territories signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (MCAA) on the fringes of the plenary meeting of the Global Forum in Berlin. Switzerland, like other states that signed the MCAA in Berlin, has stated that it intends to collect data from 2017 and exchange it for the first time in 2018.

Joining the MCAA is a logical step after Switzerland declared as a matter of principle on 6 May 2014 that it would implement the global AEOI standard. The agreement is in line with the negotiation mandates adopted by the Federal Council on 8 October 2014 (EU, United States, other countries).

The MCAA forms a basis for the future introduction of the cross-border automatic exchange of information in tax matters. The basis also includes the OECD/Council of Europe Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, which the Federal Council signed in 2013, as well as an implementing act which lays the foundation in domestic law for the exchange of information with foreign countries. The Federal Council will submit all of these proposals for consultation at the start of 2015. They will then go through the standard approval process: consultation of interested parties, Federal Council dispatch to Parliament, approval by Parliament and optional referendum.

The signing of the MCAA is without prejudice to the question regarding the countries with which the automatic exchange of information should be implemented, as the bilateral activation of the AEOI with certain states will be submitted to the Federal Assembly separately for approval.

The MCAA sets out the conditions for the annual exchange of account information between the competent authorities of two countries in accordance with the OECD standard. The list of states with which information is to be exchanged automatically can be submitted at a later stage.

Address for enquiries

Mario Tuor, Head of Communications, State Secretariat for International Financial Matters SIF
Tel. +41 58 462 46 16, mario.tuor@sif.admin.ch


The Federal Council

Federal Department of Finance