• Switzerland - Australia
    Sign joint declaration on introduction of automatic exchange of information in tax matters.

    09-03-2015

    On 3 March 2015, Switzerland and Australia signed a joint declaration to automatically exchange information based on the OECD’s common reporting standard (CRS).

    Under the agreement, the Australian Taxation Office will automatically receive details of financial accounts such as investment income and balances, that Australians hold in Switzerland, and use it to check against the income declared in Australian tax returns.

    The Swiss Federal Tax Administration will receive details of Swiss residents that hold financial accounts in Australia.

    This is the first such declaration entered into by either Government.

    Australia and Switzerland are to implement the CRS from 2017, and first exchange information in 2018. Over 90 other jurisdictions have committed to implement the CRS according to a timeline agreed by the G20.

    As per the signed Declaration, the two countries have reached the following understandings:

    1. Both jurisdictions intend to introduce on a reciprocal basis automatic exchange of financial account information in tax matters based on the OECD Common Reporting Standard and the Commentaries thereon between each other beginning in the year 2017 (first transmission of data in 2018).

      This will be subject to:

      1. the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters of 25 January 1988, as amended by the Protocol of 27 May 2010, being in force in each jurisdiction;
      2. the signing of the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information by each jurisdiction;
      3. the notification as provided for in Section 7 (Term of Agreement) of the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information by each jurisdiction to the Co-ordinating Body Secretariat being made, which includes, among other requirements, the notification that the necessary laws are in place to implement the OECD Common Reporting Standard;
      4. the Swiss Confederation and Australia notifying the Co-ordinating Body Secretariat that they intend to exchange information on an automatic basis between each other based on the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information;

      and will be dependent on the undertakings referred to in paragraph 5 below.

    2. Each jurisdiction is satisfied with confidentiality rules and data safeguards provided for in the other jurisdiction.
    3. Both jurisdictions will inform each other regularly on their implementation of the OECD Common Reporting Standard in their respective domestic laws.
    4. Both jurisdictions confirm that appropriate voluntary disclosure facilities exist in each jurisdiction which provide the opportunity of a smooth transition to the system of automatic exchange of information.
    5. Both jurisdictions will strengthen their cooperation in the area of financial services, and will:
      1. continue to enable the provision of cross-border financial services and maintain the level of access existing at the date of signature of this declaration;
      2. discuss and explore issues of financial market access and work towards a common understanding ahead of the next meeting of the Australian-Swiss Financial Dialogue with a view to further facilitate and improve the provision of financial services between their jurisdictions.
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