Switzerland Passes Anti-Tax Evasion Bill

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.

– See more at: tax-news.com

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Greece: signs international tax agreement to tackle tax evasion

OECD – Paris, 22 February 2012

Greece: signs international tax agreement to tackle tax evasion

Greece has signed the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, a multilateral agreement that was developed jointly by the Council of Europe and the OECD and that is open for signature to all countries. The Convention promotes international co-operation in the assessment and collection of taxes.

As taxpayers increasingly operate on a global basis, tax authorities are moving from bilateral to multilateral co-operation and from exchange of information on request to more effective forms of collaboration. The Convention is an effective and practical tool to help tax authorities in their everyday work.

At a time when Greece is looking to shore up its economy in line with a new financial package supported by the Euro area countries and other stakeholders, the Convention will allow Greece to work more closely with other countries to combat tax avoidance and evasion.
“In addition to demonstrating its commitment to following the international standards on tax transparency and exchange of information, this signing is a step towards Greece’s efforts to restore the longer-term sustainability of its public finances. The Convention will help Greece improve its internal tax collection system and pursue the tax revenues lost to tax avoidance and evasion. This will ensure that individuals and multinational enterprises pay the right amount of tax, at the right time and in the right place,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.

Signatories to the Convention are so far:  Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.

>> For more information, journalists should contact: Grace Perez Navarro, deputy-director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy (+ 331 45 24 18 80).

>> Further information about the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters is available at www.oecd.org/ctp/eoi/mutual