The Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) has exchanged financial account information for the first time, within the framework of the global standard on the automatic exchange of information (AEOI).
This exchange provides that Switzerland exchanges in 2018 with EU states as well as with a further nine states and territories (Australia, Canada, Guernsey, Iceland, Isle of Man, Japan, Jersey, Norway, South Korea).
The exchange provides identification, account and financial information, including name, address, state of residence and tax identification number, as well as information concerning the reporting financial institution, account balance and capital income.
The exchanged information allows the cantonal tax authorities to verify whether taxpayers have correctly declared their financial accounts abroad in their tax returns.
The transmission took place at the end of September 2018, but the data exchange with Australia and France has been delayed as they could not deliver data to the FTA for technical reasons. Nor has data been received from Estonia, Poland and Croatia, while Cyprus and Romania are currently excluded as they do not meet the requirements on confidentially and data security.
Currently, around 7,000 reporting financial institutions, such as banks and trusts, are registered with the FTA. These institutions collected the data and transferred it to the FTA, which then sent information on around 2 million financial accounts to the partner states and received information from them.
However, definitive numbers on information received are not yet available and the FTA cannot provide any information on the amount of financial assets.
The AEOI will now take place on a yearly basis, with the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes reviewing the participating states' implementation of it.