Switzerland on Friday ratified the automatic exchange of financial account information with India and 40 other countries, to help check black money deposits, reported PTI. The Swiss Federal Council, the executive council of the Switzerland government, said the protocol will be implemented in 2018, and the first set of data will be exchanged in 2019.
With this move, India will be able to access transactions by Indians with Swiss banks after September 2019, The Economic Times reported. However, Switzerland sought strict adherence to confidentiality and data security rules, said PTI.
India and Switzerland had earlier held talks for introduction of the Automatic Exchange of Information on tax matters under the guidance of the G20 countries, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and other world bodies. India had in 2016 signed a joint declaration with the European country for implementation of AEOI. On Friday, Switzerland said it would soon inform India about the exact date from which the automatic exchange would begin. The Swiss decision will not be put to referendum, thus avoiding delays in its implementation.
In a statement, the Swiss Federal Council said the proposal to introduce AEOI with India and others “met with widespread approval from the interested parties who voiced their opinions in the consultations”. The council said it will prepare a situation report before the first exchange of data.
A major chunk of black money generated in India is perceived to be stashed in Swiss tax havens. However, details of Swiss bank accounts held before 2018 will not be made available to India.