by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels
18 March 2014
The Swiss Council of States has adopted a bill forwarded on from the Federal Council with modifications, implementing the revised Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations.
Lawmakers increased the tax threshold for a case of tax evasion to be deemed to be a serious tax offence, from CHF200,000 (USD229,164) to CHF300,00. Furthermore, they agreed to limit cash payments to CHF100,000.
Swiss business federation Economiesuisse said that the Council of States had needlessly surpassed the FATF requirements. In its current form, the proposed legislation risks burdening banks with excessive bureaucracy, and places undue restrictions on businesses, the group said.
Economiesuisse said that as well as raising the qualifying threshold for a major tax offence, lawmakers should add a further criterion – multiple offences, to give financial intermediaries greater certainty when reporting their clients to the tax authority.
Economiesuisse also said that limiting cash payments is both unnecessary and arbitrary. It called on the National Council to improve the bill.
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