Automatic Exchange Of Information (AEOI): Status Of Implementation In Switzerland

Author:Mr Daniel Bader, Ruth Bloch-Riemer and Daniel U. Lehmann
Profession:Bar & Karrer

Earlier this month, the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (SFTA) published the much anticipated draft version for the Guideline: Standard for the Automatic Exchange Of Information with regard to financial accounts - Common Reporting Standard ("Draft AEOI-Guideline"). The Draft AEOI-Guideline specifies the duties arising from the automatic exchange of information ("AEOI") for Financial Institutions (banks, insurance companies, certain collective investment schemes etc.), the SFTA and further involved players. Furthermore, the Draft AEOI-Guideline comments on the legal basis for the AEOI for Switzerland and provides useful clarifications in this context. It is currently only available in the form of a non-binding draft in German language. Translations in French and Italian are expected for early 2017, as the AEOI will take effect on 1 January 2017.

Current status of implementation of AEOI in Switzerland

The legal foundations for introducing AEOI [the Administrative Assistance Convention, the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement ("MCAA") and the bill for a Federal Act on the AEOI in tax matters] were submitted to the Federal Assembly for approval in June 2015. These three bills have been approved by the Swiss Parliament in the final vote in December 2015. Since the referendum deadline expired unused on 9 April 2016, the three bills will enter into force as of 1 January 2017.

On 18 May 2016, the Federal Council initiated the consultation on the Ordinance on the International Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters (AEOI-Ordinance). The consultation of the interested parties will last until 9 September 2016. The AEOIOrdinance contains the Federal Council's implementing provisions for the Federal Act on the International Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters (AEOI-Act). The AEOI-Ordinance mentions in particular other non-reporting financial institutions and exempt accounts and regulates details with regard to the reporting and due diligence requirements for reporting Swiss financial institutions.

At the beginning of August 2016, the SFTA published the aforementioned Draft AEOI-Guideline.

The Administrative Assistance Convention, the MCAA, the AEOI-Act, the AEOI-Ordinance and the final version of the AEOI-Guideline are jointly, supposed to enter into effect on 1 January 2017 so that data can be collected as of 2017 and will be exchanged as of 2018.

Switzerland's Partner States

To date, Switzerland has signed an agreement...

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