On 27 February 2019, the Federal Council in Switzerland initiated the consultation on the revision of the Federal Act and Ordinance on the International Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters (“AEOI”) (Link). Recommendations of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (Global Forum) are thereby to be implemented.
Switzerland has been implementing the AEOI standard since 1 January 2017. The Global Forum examines its domestic implementation, as in the case of the exchange of information upon request, by means of peer reviews. These will generally take place from 2020 for the AEOI. In order to ensure the integrity of the AEOI standard from the outset and to create a level playing field worldwide, the Global Forum has been examining its key elements since 2017. One of these elements involves checking the full adoption of the AEOI standard in domestic law.
The Global Forum has reviewed the Swiss AEOI legal basis and issued recommendations. The consultation proposal takes account of these recommendations. They concern, among other things, certain due diligence and registration obligations, the maintenance of a document retention obligation for reporting Swiss financial institutions, as well as definitions. Some exceptions have also been removed or adapted. The amendments to the law and ordinance should enter into force on 1 January 2021. The consultation will last until 12 June 2019. The proposal is due to be discussed in Parliament in spring 2020.
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