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March 18, 2010

Reuters: Switz signs tax treaties

By Spear's

ZURICH, March 17 (Reuters) – The Swiss parliament’s upper house on Wednesday approved deals with the United States and four other countries to share data on potential tax dodgers, bringing the Alpine state closer in line with international standards.

ZURICH, March 17 (Reuters) – The Swiss parliament’s upper house on Wednesday approved deals with the United States and four other countries to share data on potential tax dodgers, bringing the Alpine state closer in line with international standards.

Under the deals Switzerland will have banking data sharing arrangements with France, Britain, the United States, Denmark and Mexico in cases of tax fraud and tax evasion, in accordance with OECD standards, except when those requests are based on stolen data.

Under pressure from the G20, Switzerland, the world’s biggest offshore banking centre, agreed a year ago to relax its prized bank secrecy and agreed for the first time to share certain bank client data with other jurisdictions, once bilateral tax treaties are ratified.

Switzerland’s relations with both France and Germany have been strained in recent months after both countries obtained stolen information on possible tax dodgers with Swiss bank accounts.

“We won’t give administrative assistance if stolen data is presented. That’s our sovereign right,” finance minister Hans-Rudolf Merz told television show Classe Politique.

To read the full story, visit reuters.com

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