Switzerland amends AEOI to include apartment owners

Thursday, 12 November 2020
Switzerland will bring into force amended rules on the international automatic exchange of information (AEOI) with effect from 1 January 2021, implementing most of the recommendations made by the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Forum) in December 2018.
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Switzerland has been implementing the AEOI standard since 1 January 2017, in order not to be placed on the OECD's blacklist of non-transparent jurisdictions for tax purposes. In December 2018, the Forum issued recommendations for the amendment of Switzerland's Federal Act on the International Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters and Ordinance on the International Automatic Exchange of Information in Tax Matters. These proposals were published for consultation in February 2019, with some alterations, and finally approved by the Swiss parliament in June 2020.

The most significant change now coming into force is that Swiss condominium associations will have to disclose information on apartment owners, many of whom are foreign property investors. Swiss financial institutions will also be explicitly required to retain documents that could be useful for tax investigations.

However, not all of the Forum's recommendations are being implemented. Foundations and non-profit associations will remain exempt from reporting accounts for AEOI, as will digital currency accounts. The Federal Tax Administration will also retain the right to suspend AEOI with a third state whose confidentiality and security practices are deemed unsatisfactory.


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