Switzerland is demanding equality in tax matters
Switzerland is negotiating with the U.S. over a mutual exchange of tax data on bank clients, Swiss finance department official Fabrice Filliez says in an interview with the Financial Times (FT). This means that Switzerland is seeking reciprocity from what has until now been a one-way street. Reciprocity has been a key Swiss demand for years. Until now, data has flown in one direction only: to U.S. officials. A tax program in which roughly 100 Swiss banks took part provided U.S. prosecutors with the mechanics of how Americans used hidden Swiss offshore accounts to dodge taxes. According to Filliez, Switzerland hopes to reach a deal by year-end. A reciprocal exchange of information suggests equality, Filliez says in the interview: «When you commit to something you want your partners to commit to something similar.»
Since the introduction of FATCA in 2010, banks in Switzerland and elsewhere have been required to send tax data to U.S. officials. There is no existing agreement for data to be dispatched in the other direction. The U.S. hasn't signed up for the OECD-brokered automatic exchange of data being rolled out next year. This means that countries after American data must reach a bilateral agreement with the U.S.