Publication of the amended version of the Swiss AEoI guidelines (AEOIG)

Konrad K. Häuptli
Konrad K. Häuptli
Of Counsel (AEoI, CRS, FATCA)
Publication of the amended version of the Swiss AEoI guidelines (AEOIG)

Clarifications and linguistic adaptation of the amended version of the Swiss AEoI guidelines (AEOIG). Contains little substantial information for banks but essential information for the trust industry.

Clarifications and linguistic adaptation of the amended version of the Swiss AEoI guidelines (AEOIG). Contains little substantial information for banks but essential information for the trust industry.

On 23 January 2019 the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) published the amended version of the AEOIG (in German, French and Italian) on their website.

The latest amended version contains the “Clarifications to the Guidelines”, which had so far been published as separate Q&A on the FTA website. The clarifications concern, among other things, “Trustee Documented Trust” (2.4.2.10), the classification of precious metals and futures (Annex 2, #3.5 und #3.6 deleted) as well as the definition of “Financial Assets” (5.1) as well as “Treasury Centres” (4.9.2.8). The respective Q&As were deleted on the FTA website after the amended AEoIG had been published. The revised version includes further selected supplements and precisions, among other points, the elimination of the so-called whitelist as per 1 January 2019 as defined by Art. 1 AEOI Ordinance, 1.4.4, 4.6 „Participating Jurisdiction“, respectively. “Special Due Diligence Obligations (6.6) and “Provisions on Consolidations of Accounts (6.7) were specified.

Points that are particularly important for the trust industry

  • Specifying the practice ruling “Trustee Documented Trust” (TDT), 2.4.2.10: also see 1.3.2.2 “Account Information”, letters c) and e) as well as 1.3.2.3.6, where it is explained that the concept of TDT only applies to trusts, also see 9.1.1 “Registration”.
  • Elimination of the provision determining that distributions that are made in other forms than cash are not considered payments (1.3.2.3.3 “Relevant Payments”).
  • Examples 116, 117, 118 and 119 under 4.8.7 “CDB” were deleted. However, deleting these sections does not have any influence of the practice or the rules under CDB.
  • Financial Assets” (5.1), second paragraph: Elimination of the section “Participations of a Legal Entity in other Legal Entities which holds non-financial assets are not considered financial assets”. But it was specified that “Directly held real estate investments are excluded from the term financial assets, irrespective of the type of financing (directly held and direct owned real estate participations are to be understood as synonyms)”.
  • Specification in Annex 3: “Financial activities of a trust as FI or pNFE“ (10.3.1 and 10.3.2): The “Protector” is now considered account holder (10.3.1), which corresponds the rule in the “Handbook”. The question now is whether the rule in the AEOIG forms a sufficient legal basis for the reporting of protectors.

If you have any questions you are welcome to contact me or reach out to our CRS and FATCA experts.