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India named in Switzerland’s top-3 partners for info exchange on tax matters: OECD’s Global Forum study 

India among Switzerland's top-3 partners for info exchangeIn accordance with the latest study by OECD’s (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) Global Forum on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes, referring to the period from July 2015 to June 2018, India was named among the top-three countries as EOI (Exchange of Information) partners along with France and Germany. Means, India is getting detailed information on request, from Switzerland about bank accounts and beneficiary ownership of entities established by its residents. 

  • India is also rated as ‘largely compliant’ by this OECD’s review.
  • It has also named Italy, Netherlands and Spain among other significant EOI partners for Switzerland.

Key Points:

-Switzerland has been trying hard to get rid of the perception about its financial institutions being used to hide undeclared wealth by people from various countries.

-To present itself as a clean global financial centre, Switzerland has entered into pacts with more than 100 countries, including India, for automatic exchange of information on tax matters. 

  • Notably, the issue of alleged black money parked by Indians in Swiss banks has been a political hot potato in India for many years. The first set of data under the new automatic information exchange framework was shared by Switzerland with India in September 2019 and the second round would take place in September 2020.
  • Under the exchange of information on request, important details have been shared related to legal ownership information, information on deceased persons and stolen data with different nations helping the latter to launch prosecution against a large number of alleged tax evaders.

In the referred time period, Switzerland received 3,252 individual requests for information. These requests related to legal ownership information (128 cases), beneficial ownership information (100 cases), accounting information (318 cases), and banking information (1,748 cases).

A number of trusts set up in overseas tax havens using a complex maze of entities have come under the scanner of Indian and Swiss authorities for suspected tax evasion by parking of illicit funds in Switzerland-based banks and their details have also been shared.

About OECD Global Forum on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes:
Head of the Global Forum Secretariat– Ms Zayda Manatta from Brazil.
Secretariat Location– Paris, France
Member Nations– 161

About Switzerland:
Capital– Bern
Currency– Swiss Franc