News about the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI)
28 August 2019
In spring 2019, the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (SFTA) carried out its first AEOI control at a bank in German-speaking Switzerland. While the SFTA does not provide any information on the timing of further such controls, these are expected to be carried out systematically in the further course of 2019 and next year. Reason enough for every financial institution to review its AEOI implementation to date.
In addition to existing obligations such as the annual transmission of the AEOI reports as of 30 June, there is also a lot going on in the area of the AEOI:
- At the end of 2018, the two-year transition period for reviewing the existing customer base at the time of the AEOI's implementation ended. The questions on how to address customers who have not yet been documented even after the expiry of the transition period are manifold and need to be analyzed carefully.
- Since the AEOI legal framework came into force on 1 January 2017, the Parliament has every year approved the introduction of the AEOI with a group of new partner states. These must be taken into account in the databases of financial institutions and contractual partners and controlling persons from new partner states must be included in the necessary AEOI reports.
- As of 1 January 2019, the transitional provision in the AEOI Ordinance on the concept of "Participating Jurisdictions" was abolished. Previously, Swiss financial institutions were not required to file AEOI notifications concerning foreign financial institutions or persons behind them if the foreign financial institution was domiciled in a country that had undertaken to participate in the AEOI regime. This exception now only applies to financial institutions in Switzerland's AEOI partner states. Swiss financial institutions must review their existing AEOI classifications from this point of view.
- As part of a preliminary review, the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, which is responsible for monitoring AEOI implementation, addressed recommendations to Switzerland, particularly with regard to the currently "too" generous handling of exceptions. Today, for example, certain non-profit associations and foundations and their accounts are exempt from AEOI reporting obligations. This exception is to be abolished as of 1 January 2021, which Swiss financial institutions must take into account in due time.
In the area of the Automatic Exchange of Information, we support you with industry-specific know-how and advise you in dealing with the changing regulatory requirements:
- Tailor-made health checks in preparation for the AEOI control by the SFTA
- Definition of need for action and implementation options with regard to dealing with the changing regulatory requirements
- Implementation of measures and training courses