Swiss banks start providing details of Indian accounts to Delhi
Banking details of Indians with accounts in Switzerland have been made available to tax authorities as the automatic exchange of information agreement starts between the two countries.
“India will receive information of the calendar year 2018 in respect of all financial accounts held by Indian residents in Switzerland. This will be a significant step in the government’s fight against black money as the era of Swiss bank secrecy will finally be over,” the Income Tax department said in a tweet.
The announcement follows meeting of a Swiss delegation led by Nicolas Mario Luscher, Deputy Head of Tax Division, State Sectt for International Finance, with Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey and senior tax officials of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
However, the data relates to accounts that have been already closed due to fear of action, bankers and regulatory officials said.
Still, the data could help establish prosecution cases against those who had any unaccounted wealth in those accounts, as it provides entire details of deposits and transfers as well as of all earnings including through investments in securities and other asset classes, they said.
On condition of anonymity, several bankers and regulatory officials have said the details being shared relate mostly to businessmen, including non-resident Indians now settled in several South-East Asian countries as well as in the US, the UK and even some African and South American countries.
Bankers admitted there was a huge outflow from these accounts in the last few years after a global crackdown began against the so-called high-secrecy walls associated with the Swiss banks and several of these accounts got closed.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said that the move is a significant step in the government’s fight against black money and the era of “Swiss bank secrecy” will finally be over.