Swiss relax rules for info exchange on foreign black money

Therefore, the fresh revision would also need to be submitted to Parliament, the Swiss finance ministry said,while adding that it would be done at the "first opportunity".

Earlier, the Swiss banks have said that any informationexchange would be as per the conditions set out by OECD, thegrouping of mostly developed nations.

These conditions have been laid out by the Organisationfor Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in its ModelTax Convention that governs the tax information exchangeagreements between the signatory countries.

The OECD conditions require the foreign authoritiesseeking specific Swiss bank account details to furnish theidentity of suspected offenders, details of the allegedoffence along with facts to undermine the suspicion, name ofthe concerned bank and branch in Switzerland and a writtenrequest from the foreign country''s tax agency.

Besides eliminating any obstacles to the effectiveexchange of information in tax matters, the revision has alsobeen conducted to reduce the risk of failure in the peerreview process -- an international mechanism for comparingimplementation of global standards on information exchange andtax matters.

In the first phase of peer review of Switzerland by theGlobal Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information forTax Purposes, it was found that Switzerland''s requirements foradministrative were too restrictive and could prove to be apossible hindrance to an effective exchange of information.

Despite ther revision, "identifying the taxpayer and theholder of the information (bank) is an indispensableprerequisite for the granting of administrative assistance."PTI BJ RAM

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