Following up on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann at Geneva on June 6, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia met Switzerland’s State Secretary for International Financial Matters Jacques de Watteville to discuss speedy bilateral implementation of Agreement for Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI).
The agreement is likely to be signed by the end of this year and once it is signed, India will receive financial information of accounts held by Indian residents in Switzerland on automatic basis from 2018.
“It was decided that experts of both the countries will meet before mid-September, 2016 to further discuss the modalities for the reciprocal bilateral implementation of AEOI between India and Switzerland with a view to reaching an agreement at the earliest, possibly by the end of the year,” an official statement said.
The issue of requests based on “stolen data” figured prominently in the talks, it said. The two sides agreed to pursue the ongoing dialogue on tax and financial matters, with the secretaries stating that such contacts facilitate a common understanding of each other’s concerns and ensure that the requests are dealt with quickly and efficiently.
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“To begin with, a team of officers from India would visit Switzerland for bilateral discussions towards expeditious resolution of pending exchange of information requests,” the statement said.
On requests based on what Switzerland considers as data obtained in breach of Swiss law, Adhia reaffirmed India’s position that Switzerland should share information in all cases in accordance with the treaty.
Reiterating their countries’ commitment to combat tax fraud and evasion within the applicable legal framework, the secretaries said the progress made by Switzerland in the field of administrative assistance in tax matters would be appropriately reflected in Switzerland’s phase 2 review by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. In view of the Panama Papers, both recognised the need for firm action.