Swiss tax authorities on Monday said they had shared with India the first tranche of details about the financial accounts of Indian clients in Swiss banks under the automatic information exchange framework between the two countries, PTI reported.
An unidentified spokesperson of the Federal Tax Administration told the news agency that India was among the 75 countries with which Switzerland has exchanged information about the financial accounts within the global standards of automatic exchange of information.
The spokesperson said the next exchange will take place in 2020. “According to the international agreement in place, the exchanges have to take place within nine months after the end of the respective calendar year,” the spokesperson said about the next exchange of information with India. “This means the exchange takes place in September, except for corrections.”
This is the first time India has received the financial information of accounts held by Indian clients in Switzerland for 2018 and subsequent years. However, details of Swiss bank accounts held before 2018 were not made available to India, and the other given information is governed by strict confidentiality clauses. The FTA officials also refused to disclose specific details on the number of accounts or about the quantum of financial assets associated with the Indian clients of Swiss banks.
There were at least 100 cases of older accounts held by Indians that might have been closed before 2018, PTI reported. For this, Switzerland is still in the process of sharing details with India under an earlier framework of mutual administrative assistance because Indian authorities have provided prima facie evidence of tax-related wrongdoing by those account holders.
The information given by Switzerland authorities include names, addresses, and tax identification numbers. It also includes details concerning the financial institution, account balance and capital income.
Experts said the data received by India can be useful to establish a strong prosecution case against those who have unaccounted wealth. They said India now has access to details of deposits, transfers and earnings, including those through investments in securities and other assets.
The FTA has sent information about around 3.1 million financial accounts to the partner states and received information on around 2.4 million from them overall, PTI reported. The Switzerland government in a separate statement said the number of countries with which they exchanged information this year is 75, and 63 countries among them reciprocated with information.
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