As part of its commitment to fighting cross-border tax evasion and profit shifting, Switzerland sent information on over 3m financial accounts in 2021, according to a new review of the Swiss financial center by the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters.
The review, which is published annually, provides information on the most important developments for Switzerland on international financial matters, including taxation, while also providing an overview on the status of ongoing regulatory projects.
This year’s review notes that in the area of exchange of information for tax purposes, Switzerland sent information on around 3.3m financial accounts to 96 countries, and received information on around 2.1m accounts. In addition, on December 3, 2021, the Federal Council initiated a consultation on introducing automatic exchange of information with 12 further states and territories.
The review further noted, with regard to double taxation agreements, that Switzerland has DTAs with over 100 jurisdictions, and in 2021, a new DTA was signed with Ethiopia, and new DTAs with Bahrain, Brazil and Saudi Arabia entered into force. In addition, Switzerland signed protocols of amendment with Armenia, Japan and North Macedonia, while protocols amending the DTAs with Cyprus, Liechtenstein and Malta entered into force.
With regard to Mutual Agreement Procedures, meanwhile, according to the review, Switzerland had completed 181 international mutual agreement procedures in 2020, with the OECD praising “the efficiency of these procedures,” particularly with regards to transfer pricing.
On the topic of taxing the digital economy, with particular reference to the OECD’s international tax reform plans, the review emphasized the Government’s call for “the interests of small, robust economies to be taken into account” as part of the broader conversation.
Switzerland, it stated, “is committed to rules that foster innovation and prosperity, that are applied uniformly worldwide and that are subject to a dispute resolution mechanism.”