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Switzerland Promoting Tax Transparency Efforts

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels Monday, July 17, 2017

Switzerland has signed an agreement on the automatic exchange of tax information with Singapore, and is this week hosting a working meeting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.

The agreement with Singapore was signed by the Deputy State Secretary of Switzerland's State Secretariat for International Financial Matters and by the Deputy Commissioner of Singapore's Inland Revenue Authority.

According to the Swiss Federal Council, it is expected that the agreement will be provisionally applied from January 1, 2018. The first exchange of data should take place in 2019, subject to ratification of the agreement.

More generally, the Federal Council said that Switzerland's hosting of the Global Forum demonstrates that the country supports the efforts of the international community to improve tax transparency. It added that the meeting will enable Switzerland to present details on how it has provided technical assistance to developing countries in the area of information exchange.

However, the Federal Council also stressed that such efforts must receive international support, and that the relevant standards must be correctly applied.

The meeting forms part of the Global Forum's latest round of evaluations, which focuses on the implementation of the standard for the exchange of information upon request. The round began in 2016, and concerns the legislation implemented by countries participating in the standard. The first reports from this round will be adopted during the meeting in Geneva.

The Forum meeting will run from July 17 to July 21.

The review of Switzerland's information exchange regime will begin during the second half of 2018, and should be complete within a year.

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