Swiss Federal Council adopts dispatch on Tax Administrative Assistance Act

The Act governs the execution of administrative assistance in double taxation agreements and other agreements on the exchange of information, in particular the exchange of information agreed on in accordance with the OECD standard

Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said the bill – for parliament to discuss – was aimed at enshrining rules on the exchange of information pertaining to account holders, as applied in double taxation agreements (DTAs) with other countries.

The cabinet insisted on the principle that administrative assistance would only be provided upon request in individual cases – group applications were ruled out – but pressure from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) seemed to be having an effect.

“We say ‘yes’ to groups, but we’d like the separate elements to be defined. There should be legal means as with individual cases,” Widmer-Schlumpf said.

Unlike the ordinance, which covers only administrative assistance in accordance with double taxation agreements, the Act also governs administrative assistance based on other agreements which make provision for the exchange of information relating to tax matters, e.g. the agreement on the taxation of savings income with the EU. The appeal procedure is to be streamlined and the deadlines shortened.,