India may have to wait for automatic exchange of Swiss info
India may have to wait longer for joining “selected” countries with whom Switzerland plans to do automatic exchange of information on tax matters, even as Indian and Swiss officials will meet soon to iron out their bilateral arrangements on suspected tax evasion cases.
Switzerland has started a process for putting in place a mechanism for automatic exchange of tax information with foreign jurisdictions, but in the initial phase, the Alpine nation has decided to focus only on European Union and the US.
“The primary focus is on the European Union (EU) and its member states, as well as the United States. Negotiations on the automatic exchange of information with other selected countries are to be examined,” a Swiss Federal Department of Finance spokesperson told PTI from Berne.
The response was to a query on whether India would also be among the countries with which Switzerland would start discussions in the initial phase.
The spokesperson further elaborated that initially the focus would be on countries having close economic and political ties with Switzerland, but did not name India.
“In an initial phase, consideration would be given to countries with which there are close economic and political ties and which provide their taxpayers with sufficient scope for regularisation and which are considered to be important and promising in terms of their market potential for Switzerland’s financial industry,” the official added.
Swiss Federal Council, on October 8, adopted definitive negotiation mandates for introducing the new global standard for the automatic exchange of information in tax matters with other countries.
The new Indian government, which assumed office in May, has stated that all efforts would be made to bring back the alleged black money parked by its citizens abroad, including in Swiss banks.
A meeting is likely to take place in “coming weeks” between Indian and Swiss officials in connection with India’s efforts to convince Switzerland to share details about suspected tax evaders who might have accounts in Swiss banks.
Indian and Swiss authorities have been in talks for quite some time on the matter of alleged black money parked by Indian citizens in banks in Switzerland.
The Swiss Finance Ministry spokesperson recently confirmed that a meeting is expected in the coming weeks, but did not disclose any further details.