You are here: Home » Current Affairs » News » National
Business Standard

Swiss govt gives in, relaxes rules in black money cases

Now, individuals a/c holders, accused in tax crime cases, won't get prior information before any details about them are shared

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Online image via Shutterstock

Facing global pressure, Switzerland today decided to relax a key legislation to make it easier to extend help to foreign countries, including India, probing cases of suspected tax crimes.

The proposed revision in Switzerland's Tax Administrative Assistance Act would do away with an existing requirement where all individuals are given prior information before any details about them are shared with a foreign jurisdiction for alleged tax crimes.

Besides, the amendment will make it easier for Swiss authorities to extend help in matters related to 'group requests.'

The revised Act would help India and many other countries who find it difficult to get information from Swiss authorities while probing cases of alleged tax evasion through foreign shores including Switzerland.

This comes at a time when a renewed debate is underway in India about efforts to act against those alleged to have stashed black money in Swiss banks.

In a statement issued from Bern, the Federal Council of Switzerland said that it has "resolved to bring the revised Tax Administrative Assistance Act into force on August 1, 2014."

The Swiss government further said no referendum has been called against the bill as yet and the referendum deadline will expire on July 10, 2014.

"If that remains the case, the amended Act will enter into force on August 1, 2014," it added.

The Swiss Parliament had approved the revision of the Tax Administrative Assistance Act in March this year.

The amendment includes a new provision that envisages a procedure with, in exceptional cases, deferred notification of persons entitled to appeal, as well as more precise specifications regarding group requests.

"Switzerland will thereby comply with the applicable international standard for administrative assistance in tax matters as well as an additional recommendation of the Global Forum on Tax Transparency," the government said.

The revision makes provision for affected persons to be notified only after information has been disclosed to the requesting state's authorities in urgent cases -- or the cases when prior notification would compromise the investigation.

Besides, the revised Act would also make it easier for Swiss authorities to provide 'administrative assistance' to foreign countries in cases of 'group requests'. While requests for individual cases are handled in a relatively effective manner, the existing rules in Switzerland put some restrictions on assistance in 'group requests' or cases where help is sought by foreign countries for a group of persons or a group of related cases together.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Mon, June 23 2014. 21:11 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.