Switzerland Has Sign the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement

By Robert Robillard - 20 November 2014

This blogpost originally appeared on rbrt.ca.

From the Swiss Federal Administration website (Federal Department of Finance):

Switzerland takes further step towards introduction of automatic exchange of information

Bern, 19.11.2014 – Today, the Federal Council approved a declaration on Switzerland joining the multilateral agreement on the automatic exchange of information in tax matters. This international agreement, which was developed within the framework of the OECD, forms a basis for the future introduction of the cross-border automatic exchange of information. The question regarding the countries with which Switzerland should introduce this exchange of data is not affected by the signing of the multilateral agreement; it will be presented to Parliament separately at a later stage.

Cross-border tax evasion should be prevented with the help of the new global standard for the automatic exchange of information (AEOI). On 29 October 2014, 51 states and territories signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (MCAA) on the fringes of the plenary meeting of the Global Forum in Berlin. Switzerland, like other states that signed the MCAA in Berlin, has stated that it intends to collect data from 2017 and exchange it for the first time in 2018.

Joining the MCAA is a logical step after Switzerland declared as a matter of principle on 6 May 2014 that it would implement the global AEOI standard. The agreement is in line with the negotiation mandates adopted by the Federal Council on 8 October 2014 (EU, United States, other countries).”

See the complete Swiss communiqué here.

Also, from the OECD website:

Switzerland takes important step to boost international cooperation against tax evasion

19/11/14 – Switzerland has today become the 52nd jurisdiction to sign the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement, which will allow it to go forward with plans to activate automatic exchange of financial account information in tax matters with other countries beginning in 2018.

The landmark decision comes just weeks after Switzerland told the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes that it would implement in a timely manner the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Information in Tax Matters developed by the OECD and G20 countries. The Swiss decision is subject to Parliamentary approval, as well as the possibility that voters may be asked to approve the necessary laws and agreements.

The Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement is a framework agreement based on the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. It was signed by 51 jurisdictions during the annual meeting of the Global Forum on 29 October 2014 in Berlin.

Bilateral information exchanges will come into effect between signatories after subsequent notifications are filed, as required under the Agreement. A group of early adopters have pledged to work towards launching their first information exchanges by September 2017. Others, including Switzerland, are expected to follow in 2018.

The Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters was endorsed by G20 Leaders at the Leaders’ Summit on 15-16 November 2014 in Brisbane, Australia. It provides for exchange of all financial information on an annual basis, automatically. Most jurisdictions have committed to implementing this Standard on a reciprocal basis with all interested jurisdictions.”

Robert Robillard, CPA, CGA, MBA, M.Sc. Econ.
Transfer Pricing Chief Economist, RBRT Inc.
514-742-8086; robert.robillard “at” rbrt.ca

RBRT Inc. is all about transfer pricing. We specialize in transfer pricing, tax treaties and other international tax matters. Our services include transfer pricing documentation (transfer pricing policies and procedures, BEPS and C-doc), transfer pricing dispute resolution, tax treaty matters including double tax relief, tax treaty-based returns and waivers, advanced pricing agreement (APA), value chain management and TP planning, transfer pricing training. The information in this blog post is general information only. Data and information come from sources believed to be reliable but complete accuracy cannot be guaranteed. RBRT Inc. and the author are not responsible or liable for any error, omission or inaccuracy in such information. Readers should seek independent tax advice and tax counsel from RBRT Inc. as required.