Switzerland: Status of AEoI implementation

Switzerland: Status of AEoI implementation

Switzerland has already agreed with the EU for all EU Member States as well as with Australia, Canada, Guernsey, Iceland, Isle of Man, Japan, Jersey, Norway, and South Korea on a first exchange of 2017 data to be made in September 2018 under the automatic exchange of information (AEoI) regime.

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The Swiss Parliament previously approved an AEoI implementation act in December 2015. After the publication of the draft AEoI ordinance in May 2016 and the draft AEoI guidelines on 3 August 2016, the legal steps for AEoI are complete. 

The AEoI is actually based on the common reporting standard (CRS)—thus, a global standard in regard to AEoI. Nonetheless, some details remain unaddressed. This is why the Swiss tax administration along with industry associations prepared comprehensive guidelines (Wegleitung) under AEoI. These guidelines are intended to address implementation aspects that were left open in the CRS and explain how the AEoI is to be applied (illustrated by some 200 examples).

Guidelines could still be adjusted

The published version of the guidelines is only a draft form. Thus, it is possible that relevant aspects could still be adjusted or complemented prior to the AEoI’s entering into force. However, some expect few changes only, and only if the OECD were to provide guidance deviating from the Swiss opinion in their AEoI Q&A or if the draft of the Swiss AEoI ordinance has to be amended. In particular, this could be the case if the United States were no longer to be considered to be a “participating jurisdiction” in the final version.  The reason for this potential development is that Luxembourg recently removed the United States from its list of the participating jurisdictions. If Switzerland were to follow Luxembourg, Swiss banks would have to treat investment companies domiciled in the United States transparently, i.e. as “passive NFEs.” In other words, the controlling persons of such legal entities would have to be reported to their relevant countries of residence.

 

Read a 2016 blog posting prepared by the KPMG member firm in Switzerland

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