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Switzerland Offers Tax Cooperation To Other Countries


The law “Regarding International Help in Tax Issues” approved by Switzerland's parliament on September 29, 2012, has come into effect. The deadline for calling for referendum that could have affected this decision has passed; therefore, the law came into effect.

According to the new law, starting on February 1, 2013 information about activity of foreign clients of Swiss banks may become available to authorities of their countries of origin. Banking details may be disclosed if tax fraud is suspected.

From now on, under the new law, Swiss authorities will accept foreign queries about actions of bank’s clients which may be conducted for tax evasion. The query will need to include description of client’s activity leading to suspected tax evasion and must not represent “fishing/phishing” (query without description of significant circumstances, facts and identifying information about subject of the query). The law also allows for group query which must indicate a category of entities unified by an identifying characteristic.

Also, a Protocol introducing amendments to double-taxation treaty between Russia and Switzerland came into power on January 1, 2013. The treaty has been supplemented with Article 25a “Exchange of Information” and Article 26b “Countermeasures Against Fraudulent Schemes.”

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