On the 15th of October 2013 Switzerland became the 58th country to sign the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters during a ceremony at the OECD (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). It follows the approval of The Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters by the Swiss Federal Council on the 9th October.
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria expressed his content with Switzerland’s acceptance of the Convention, which “sends a clear and strong signal that Switzerland is part of the community of states which consider international tax co-operation as a necessity. This signature is an important step for Switzerland to resolve the issues identified in its Peer Review by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information on June 2011.”
Stefan Flückiger, Switzerland’s Ambassador to the OECD commented: “Switzerland has been committed to complying with international standards in tax matters since March 2009. The signing of the Convention confirms Switzerland’s commitment to the global fight against tax fraud and tax evasion with a view to safeguarding the integrity and reputation of the country’s financial centre.”
As soon as The Convention becomes operational Switzerland will exercise various forms of mutual assistance such as exchange on request, spontaneous, simultaneous tax examinations, tax examinations abroad as well as support in tax collection, while guarding taxpayers’ rights. There is an option of automatic exchange in case there is an agreement between the relevant Parties interested in this form of support. Thanks to assistance of the G20, automatic exchange of information is gradually becoming the new worldwide standard and Switzerland supports the tool that will allow it to join the jurisdictions and agree to exchange financial information as a matter of course.