FM’s 4th Letter to Swiss on Tax Issue
Finance minister P Chidambaram has pressed Switzerland for expeditious ratification of the multilateral convention on mutual assistance in tax matters, writing a fourth letter in four months to his counterpart, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, on the issue of active sharing of information between the two countries on tax issues.
“I would urge you and your (Swiss) government to ratify the multilateral convention on mutual administrative assistance in tax matters as early as possi- ble,” the outgoing finance minister wrote on May 15, just a day before the declaration of election results in India.
India and a large number of other countries, including Switzerland, have adopted a global declaration for automatic exchange of tax information under the aegis of Parisbased Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The adoption of the Declaration on Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters is aimed at automatic exchange of information on illicit funds stashed abroad. “Once you ratify the convention, I am confident that your government will abide by its obligation under the convention as well as under the declaration that your country signed on May 6, 2014,” Chidambaram said in the letter.
Switzerland is yet to ratify the convention although it is a signatory to it.
The declaration calls upon “all
India has been seeking information on bank accounts of its nationals in Swiss banks but has not had much success so far
countries to sign and ratify the multilateral convention”, Chidambaram added.
The declaration recognises that investments kept offshore by taxpayers should not go untaxed and the cooperation between countries should be on an automatic basis.
Switzerland, known for strong banking secrecy rules, had agreed earlier this month to the proposed new standard for automatic exchange of tax information.
India has been seeking information on bank accounts of its nationals in Swiss banks but has not had much success so far.