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Tax & Legal Advising

Switzerlands hopes for additional revenues have been all but dashed

30 January 2017
Read time: 2 mins
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Tax offices abroad are hoping to create additional revenues. For Switzerland, however, these hopes have been all but dashed. Due to the automatic exchange of information experts are expecting a flood of requests for administrative assistance in tax matters and Swiss federal tax authorities have been complaining about the enormous workload (and they are now recruiting additional staff). In a lengthy article in today’s NZZ am Sonntag concerning these new jobs Olivier Weber, head of tax advisory with Kendris fiduciary company, draws attention to the fact that “foreign authorities are going to inundate Switzerland with heaps of individual requests for administrative assistance in order to obtain more information.” Daniel Holenstein, criminal tax lawyer with Flick Gocke Schaumberg adds: “One might be tempted to assume that the automatic exchange of information could render requests for administrative assistance obsolete, tough this is not going to happen. (…) Switzerland will continue to be flooded with requests but submit only few themselves.” He goes on to say that it is difficult to assess whether or not the requests for administrative assistance will entail more criminal proceedings. “If the authorities can assign data it will be difficult to conceal income.”

Good news: “Foreigners holding clandestine accounts with Swiss banks are almost a thing of the past now. 15 years from now, Swiss people will not be able to hold such accounts either.” (Olivier Weber). Bad news: Until this is the case, the numbers of requests for administrative assistance in tax matters are going to soar